The rating systems shown in this table compare the main rating systems that are used in the Climbing World. There are many more rating systems, but we will use this one for now.

UIAA rating system

The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) rating scale is used mostly in Western Germany and Austria.

The French rating system

The French rating system is slowly becoming the international standard, at least for comparing really hard climbs. It is used in France, as well as in Spain and Italy.

The British grading system

People in Britain have two different ratings: an adjectival grading and a technical grading. The adjectival grading says something about the overall difficulty of the climb. On the other hand, the technical grading shows something about the most difficult move of the climb. For instance, an easy climb with a difficult move would have a relatively low adjectival grading with a high technical rating (like E4/6c). A sustained climb with long runouts and poor pro – a real British climb – but no real difficult technical moves have a high adjectival rating with a low technical rating (like E7/6b).

USA (YDS)

The Yosemite Decimal System is the North American rating system. The first number in the YDS designates the class of the climb (always “5” for free climbs), while the second number defines the difficulty.

USA France
UIAA
5.7 4
5.8 5a
5.9 5b
5.10 5c
5.10a 6a
VI+
5.10b 6a+
VI+/VII-
5.10c 6b
VII
5.10d 6b+
VII+
5.11a 6c
VII+/VIII-
5.11b/c 6c+
VIII-
5.11d 7a
VIII
5.12a 7a+
VIII/VIII+
5.12b 7b
VIII+
5.12c 7b+
IX-
5.12d 7c
IX
5.13a 7c+
IX/IX+
5.13b 8a
IX+
5.13c 8a+
X-
5.13d 8b
X
5.14a 8b+
X+
5.14b 8c
XI-
5.14c 8c+
XI
5.14d 9a
XI+
5.15a 9a+
XII-

 

Keep in mind that there are many rating tables. The one above is an example. You can also choose what Rating System you will use based on your preferences.