Climbing grade conversion table

Today I would like to spend a few moments talking about the different climbing grade systems used around the world. Any one who has been climbing for a while has probably been confronted with the different systems.

We will have a look at the 6 most common grading systems:

Skala Länder
Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary
East German Rating System (GDR (Saxon)) East Germany (former DDR)
French numerical system France, Europe, International
Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) USA, Canada, South America
Ewbank Australia, New Zealand, South Africa
British (tech) Great Britian

Schwierigkeitsgrade beim Klettern:

Our comparison table (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

UIAA GDR (Saxon) French YDS Ewbank British (tech)
I I 1 3-4 1-2 1
5.0 3-4
II II 2 5.1 5-6 2
5.2 7-8
III III 3 5.3 9-10 3
IV IV 4a 5.4 11-12
IV+ V 4b 5.5 13 4a
V VI 4c 5.6 14 4b
V+ 5a 5.7 15 4c
VI- VIIa 5b 5.8 16
VI VIIb 5c 5.9 17 5a
VI+ VIIc 6a 5.10a 18
VII- 6a+ 5.10b 19 5b
VII VIIIa 6b 5.10c 20
VII+ VIIIb 6b+ 5.10d 21 5c
VIIIc 6c 5.11a 22
VIII- 6c+ 5.11b 23
IXa 5.11c 24 6a
VIII IXb 7a 5.11d
VIII+ IXc 7a+ 5.12a 25
7b 5.12b 26
IX- Xa 7b+ 5.12c 27 6b
IX Xb 7c 5.12d 28
IX+ Xc 7c+ 5.13a 29
8a 5.13b 6c
X- Xia 8a+ 5.13c 30
X XIb 8b 5.13d 31
X+ XIc 8b+ 5.14a 32 7a
8c 5.14b 33
XI- 8c+ 5.14c 34 7b
XI 9a 5.14d 35
XI+ 9a+ 5.15a 36
XI+/XII- 9b 5.15b 37
XII- 9b+ 5.15c 38

I don’t recommend that you blindly trust this table – there can be differences from country to country or even between climbing areas. Sometimes the conditions and the state of the routes can also influence the grades.

The best way to approach the conversion is to travel, go climbing and get used to the different grades!
Have fun!

P.S. Our secret (or maybe not so secret anymore) tip for your hands after climbing:

Sources:
1. Chockstone
2. Alpinist
3. UKC
4. summitpost.org
5. Squamish Climbing
6. 8a
7. Climbing Guide BG
8. The Crag
9. Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “Climbing grade conversion table

  1. Thanks, it is quite informative. I always get so confused with all the different systems!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful article!

  3. I always think it’s funny when brands name themselves after hard grades, but we keep pushing the grades and suddenly the brand isn’t named the hardest grade anymore…

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