Grades

Free climbing grading systems

Level YDS French UIAA British Adj. British Tech.
Beginner
Intermediate
Experienced
Expert
Elite
5.0
5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10a
5.10b
5.10c
5.10d
5.11a
5.11b
5.11c
5.11d
5.12a
5.12b
5.12c
5.12d
5.13a
5.13b
5.13c
5.13d
5.14a
5.14b
5.14c
5.14d
5.15a
5.15b
5.15c
5.15d
1a
1a+
1b
1b+
1c
1c+
2a
2a+
2b
2b+
2c
2c+
3a
3a+
3b
3b+
3c
3c+
4a
4a+
4b
4b+
4c
4c+
5a
5a+
5b
5b+
5c
5c+
6a
6a+
6b
6b+
6c
6c+
7a
7a+
7b
7b+
7c
7c+
8a
8a+
8b
8b+
8c
8c+
9a
9a+
9b
9b+
9c
1-
1
1+
2-
2
2+
3-
3
3+
4-
4
4+
5-
5
5+
6-
6
6+
7-
7
7+
8-
8
8+
9-
9
9+
10-
10
10+
11-
11
11+
12-
12
12+
E
M
MD
D
HD
MVD
VD
HVD
MS
S
HS
MVS
VS
HVS
E1
E2
E3
E4
E5
E6
E7
E8
E9
E10
1a
1b
1c
2a
2b
2c
3a
3b
3c
4a
4b
4c
5a
5b
5c
6a
6b
6c
7a
7b
7c

Other climbing grading systems

Level Romanian grades French grades Aid Aid Alpine Ice Water Ice Mixed Rock/Ice Via Ferrata Commitment level scale Protection level scale
Beginner
Intermediate
Experienced
Expert
Elite
1A
1B
2A
2B
3A
3B
4A
4B
5A
5B
6A
6B
7A
F
PD
AD
D
TD
ED
ABO
A0
A0+
A1
A1+
A2
A2+
A3
A3+
A4
A4+
A5
A5+
A6
C0
C0+
C1
C1+
C2
C2+
C3
C3+
C4
C4+
C5
C5+
C6
AI1-
AI1
AI1+
AI2-
AI2
AI2+
AI3-
AI3
AI3+
AI4-
AI4
AI4+
AI5-
AI5
AI5+
AI6-
AI6
AI6+
AI7-
AI7
AI7+
AI8-
AI8
AI8+
WI1-
WI1
WI1+
WI2-
WI2
WI2+
WI3-
WI3
WI3+
WI4-
WI4
WI4+
WI5-
WI5
WI5+
WI6-
WI6
WI6+
WI7-
WI7
WI7+
WI8-
WI8
WI8+
M1
M2
M3
M4
M5
M6
M7
M8
M9
M10
M11
M12
1
2
3
4
5
6
I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
R1 / S1 / RS1
R2 / S2 / RS2
R3 / S3 / RS3
R4 / S4 / RS4
R5 / S5 / RS5
R6 / S6 / RS6

Commitment and protection level scale

The concept is taken from the italian system grading, which can be found here: https://www.theuiaa.org at page 16.

“COMMITMENT LEVEL SCALE”
IA short route requesting few hours, near the road and with easy approach, sunny atmosphere and comfortable withdrawn
IIA route of some lengths on a wall exceeding 200 m, easy to approach even though it may take a fair ride, comfortable withdrawn
IIIA route over 300 m long, harsh environment, it takes nearly the whole day to be exceeded. It may take a long approach and retreat may not be fast
IVLong route, in excess of 500 m, on a severe wall and far from the valley floor. It takes a full day to be exceeded. The retreat can be complicated and do not take place on the line going up
VVery long route, big wall style, normally it takes a bivouac in the wall. Retreat difficult, harsh environment
VIBig wall that requires several days spent on the wall, high mountain environment, difficult retreat
VIIAll the characteristics of the VI degree, but amplified, as in the case of Himalayan big-walls needing an expedition to be overcome

“PROTECTION LEVEL SCALE”
R1Easily protectable with placements always solid, secure and numerous. Limited mandatory traits. Potential length of a fall: a few feet and a flight without consequences
R2Protectable in average with placements always solid and secure but more sparse. Mandatory traits required between placements. Potential length of a fall:a maximum of a few meters and a flight without consequences
R3Hardly protectable with placements not always good and quite distant. Long mandatory traits. Potential length of a fall:up to a maximum of 7-8 meters and a flight with possible injury
R4Hardly protectable with little or unreliable and/or remote placements that would support only a short fall. Long mandatory traits. Potential length of a fall: up to 15 meters with the possibility of leakage of anchors and flight with probable injury
R5Hardly protectable with rare placements, unreliable and distant that would support only a short fall. Long mandatory traits. Possibility of long falls and leakage of anchors that can determine a flight to the ground with sure injury
R6Unprotectable except for brief and insignificant traits far from the key moves of the pitch. A possible fall can have even lethal consequences

S1Normal bolt placement, like the one used in cliff climbing. Distance never exceeding 3-4 m between a bolt and the other. Potential length of a fall:a maximum of a few meters and a flight without consequences
S2Spaced bolt placement and mandatory traits required between placements. Potential length of a fall:a maximum of ten meters and a flight without consequences
S3Spaced bolt placement and almost always mandatory moves. Distance between bolts even more than 5 meters, long flights but not too dangerous
S4Very spaced bolt placement (over 7 meters), mandatory moves. A fall can potentially cause an accident
S5Bolt placement over 10 m, mandatory moves and sections where a fall can definitely cause an accident (fall on terraces and ledges or on the ground)
S6Only partial bolt placement, positioned far from key moves, very long traits, even over 20 m, in which a fall may have even lethal consequences

Grading the climbs

ClimbRomania.com uses 6 scales of difficulty for classifying the routes - Very easy, Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced, Expert, Elite. These definitions are somewhat arbitrary grades varying from one area to another (for example, we can climb a classic 6A - romanian grades - route in Postăvaru, easier than a 5A or 5B at Coştila). As well there may be small differences in rotpunkt grades between different areas.


Grades are a subjective opinion of every climber, everyone can interpret differently the difficulty of certain climbing passages. The most important thing remains the pleasure for climbing, the beauty of different climbing areas and not climbing only for numbers!

The routes are divided into sectors, walls, massifs and mountains. In each category we can see the difficulty of routes and their type. Thus we get an impression of the difficulty of the routes in a given area and the climbing type in that area (alpine climbing , sport climbing or combined)

The table below fives a brief description of each climbing level.

Very easy It is accessible almost any mountain lover. It includes alpine gullyes and trails, which are basically a border between tourism and mountaineering. It is nevertheless recommended to take a rope for climbing partnets and especially in case of bad weather!
Beginner Routes suitable for your first climbing day (seconding in alpine routes or top roping in sport climbing). In alpine climbing, in general, climbing sections are short, and can be climbed using aid climbing. In sport climbing routes are short, bolted very often, and in general they consist of climbing rocky steps.
Intermediate Routes recommended for those with less than one year of experience in climbing. Statistically they are the most climbed routes. In alpine climbing, routes graded 4A, 4B consist of small walls, cracks, dihedrals, and we can also expect small overhanging sections, which can climbed artificially. In sport climbing the free climbing grade does not exceed 6+.
Experienced Climbers who reach this level are those who train constantly for several years. In alpine climbing we can encounter overhangs, short roofs, long and sustained free climbing sections. In sport climbing grades go up to 8+.
Expert To achieve level requires constant training. In alpine climbing we encounter sustained sections of 6 and 6+ free climbing, overhangs, roofs, rare pitons, which can't always stop a fall. It requires knowing how to use mobile protection (cams and nuts). We can also encounter long sections of aid climbing, with not so good pitons. Sport climbing grades go up 10+, nearly to the maximum grades climbed in the country. Many who climb these degrees might easily classify as Elite.
Elite Climbers with many years of experience behind, climbing is practically a full time job for them. In alpine climbing routes are very difficult or ABO (rarely climbed, on not having a second ascent - Ultimatum - with high potential for big falls and accidents, with big distances between pitons and bolts). In sport climbing all routes beyond 11-.

Aid climbing

A route is generally given as mandatory grade, aid grade. Even if the route was climbed with less artificial (eg A0, instead of A2, involving a higher free climbing grade), we will specify only the minimum mandatory grade, which the climber must climb to safely climb the route.