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Climbing grade conversion

In North America both sport and trad rock climbs are graded using the YDS (Yosemite Decimal System). This system starts at 5.0 (like climbing a steep ladder) and progresses in difficulty up to 5.15 (an overhanging cliff). The grade of a rock route is usually based on the crux, the most difficult move. The first climber to complete a route assigns a grade, which can change as more people make the ascent and come to a consensus.

Grades are subjective. Standards vary among climbing areas. Routes may feel substantially harder than their grade indicates depending on the weather, the length of the route, the type of rock, the whims of the first ascensionist, any number of factors.

Use this chart as a rough guide to compare climbing and bouldering grades in other parts of the world.

Climbing: FrenchUKAustr.UIAANorth AmericaBouldering: HuecoUKFont.
1-2HVD8-9I-II5.2-3
2-3MS10-12III5.4-5
4S13-IV5.6
4+VS13+V-5.7
5aHVS14V5.8
5b15V+5.9V0B14
6aE1 5b19VI+5.10a
6a+E2 5c19/20VI+/VII-5.10bV0+B24+
6b20VII5.10cV1B35
6b+E3 5c21VII+5.10d
6c21/22VII+/VIII-5.11aV2B46a
6c+E4 6a22VIII-5.11bV36a+
7a23VIII5.11c/dB5-6
7a+E5 6b24VIII/VIII+5.12aV46b/c
7b25VIII+5.12bV56c
7b+E6 6b26IX-5.12c V6B76c+
7c27IX5.12d7a
7c+28IX/IX+5.13aV7B87a+
8aE7 6c29IX+5.13bV87b
8a+30X-5.13cB97c
8bE8 7a31x5.13dV9
8b+32X/X+5.14aV10B107c+
8cE9 7b33X+5.14bV11
8c+34XI-5.14cV12/13B128a+
9aE10 7c35XI5.14d/5.15

MEC climbing gear package

If you’re new to climbing or are ready for a gear upgrade, check out the 10% off climbing gear package from MEC for details.

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