In North America both sport and traditional rock climbs are graded using the YDS (Yosemite Decimal System). This system starts at 5.0 (similar to climbing a steep ladder) and progresses in difficulty all the way up to 5.15 (an overhanging cliff). The grade of a rock route is usually based on the crux, or most difficult move. The first climber to complete a route assigns a grade, which may then change as more people make the ascent.
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 when comparing climbing and bouldering grades found in other parts of the world.
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