The Ultimate Calculating Climbing Grade Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Climbing grades are systems of letters or numbers (or in some cases letters and numbers) that let climbers know what to expect from the routes they are going to take. Without these ratings systems, it would be difficult to know from place to place what a climb is going to be like. Take this quiz to learn more about calculating climbing grades.

What is the technical term for an overall assessment of a climb route called?

Climbing grade is the name given to an assessment of a climb. Because there are many different places to climb, and many different ways to climb, many different grading systems are used.


What doesn't factor into calculating a climbing grade?

Most varieties of climbing grades measure one or more of the elements related to technical skill, amount of time needed, and equipment, among other things.


What do we call a type of climbing that uses nothing but a person's body to maneuver from one point to the next?

Free climbing uses nothing but the body to maneuver from one point to the next. Climbers don't use ropes, hooks or other climbing aids -- a person's hands, feet and fingertips are the only tools necessary.


How many parts is the British system of climbing grades made up of?

The British system of climbing grades is made up of two parts: the adjectival (descriptive) grade and the technical grade.


How many types of adjectival (descriptive) grades are there in the British system?

There are eleven types: Easy, Moderate (M), Difficult (D), Very Difficult (VD), Hard Very Difficult (HVD), Mild Severe (MS), Hard Severe (HS), Severe (S), Very Severe (VS), Hard Very Severe (HVS) and Extremely Severe (E). Beginners can usually climb a route with an Easy or M rating. The higher grades, such as S, VS and HVS, are for more experienced climbers.


Which among these is not a technical grade in the British system?

The technical grade describes the technical difficulty of the hardest part of the route. Technical grades are written as 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a and so on, up to about 7b, increasing in difficulty as the number gets higher.


What is the American grading system popularly as?

The American grading system for free climbing is the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS). It's also made up of two parts -- classes and grades.


How many classes are there in the American system of climbing grades?

The classes, numbered 1-5, describe the overall difficulty of the climb, becoming more difficult as the number gets higher. For example, Class 1 is general walking and hiking, while Class 3 is easy climbing that requires the use of your hands.


What is the correct acronym for the system used to grade mountain climbing in the United States?

In the United States, mountaineering is usually graded using the National Climbing Classification System (NCCS).


What series of numerals does the National Climbing Classification System (NCCS) use for grading?

The National Climbing Classification System (NCCS) uses a series of roman numerals from I to VI.


What is the other important mountaineering grade system commonly used around the world?

Another mountaineering grade system, the International French Adjectival System (IFAS), is a system used by several European countries and many other countries throughout the world.


What makes the International French Adjectival System (IFAS) flexible?

The IFAS grades can be broken down even further by adding plus or minus signs to them. This gives a broader range to the IFAS scale and allows for intermediate grades when a route doesn't quite fit into any of the main categories.


What nature of ice makes assigning ice climbing grades difficult?

Because ice is always changing -- melting, shifting, expanding, cracking -- any route that's made up of ice is difficult to assign a grade to.


How many grading systems are used in the United States to measure climbing on different types of ice?

In the U.S., there are three grading systems for different types of ice: water ice (WI), alpine ice (AI) and mixed ice (M).


What type of ice is seasonal?

Water ice (WI) is ice that's seasonal, or that disappears during the warmer months of the year.


What type of ice is permanent?

Alpine (AI) ice is permanent ice, like the ice usually found in high altitudes or glaciers.


What do we call ice climbing routes that partly contain rock?

Mixed ice (M) refers to routes that may contain ice, but are also partly rock. The mixed climbing scale is very closely tied to the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS).


What type of climbing uses the V grade system?

The V grade system was developed in the U.S. by a climber named John Sherman to grade bouldering.


What type of climbing grade for bouldering is more flexible?

Because the V grade was criticized for not including enough easier ratings, the B grade system was developed. It ranges from B0 to B15 and is meant to allow more room in the lower grades (both B0 and B1 cover what the V scale describes as V0).


Which place is called the bouldering capital of the world?

Fontainebleau, in France, is called by some the bouldering capital of the world.


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