Climbing Grades Comparison Part 2

So. How’s your brain feeling now you have had time to digest the Yosemite Decimal System?
Don’t worry this next one is fairly easy introducing the French climbing grade system.

French Climbing Grade System

This system is fairly straight forward, internationally recognised as a grade system and used throughout Europe and the UK the French system is an open ended numerical system starting at 1 for easy.

The grades are rated on the overall difficulty of the climb using a single figure. This means you can get climbs with low grades that are fairly easy at the start but have a murderous increase in difficulty towards the end. In these cases there are often additional letters after each grade such as a, b, c in ascending difficulty. There is also an optional + that can be added to the grade to further accentuate the difficulty.

The French system is often referred to as the sport grade system and it’s what you will most likely see in your local climbing centre.

As an additional note the French system can also have a capital F at the start of it to denote that it is the French system you are using.

So to recap, the French system is also the Sport system and goes something like this:

Grade = 1- open ended
Difficulty = a,b,c
Extra tricky = +

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