Rockgrrl's Climbing Route Ratings Chart

As my disclaimer says, the climbing ratings are very subjective. Routes are rated by those who put them up and then "general consensus" of those who follow it will confirm the rating. Your best bet is to ask local climbers their opinion of the ratings you find in a guide book. Personally, I find climbs in Yosemite to be slightly harder than climbs in Joshua Tree. Remember that not too long ago, the highest rating a climb would be given was a 5.10! So climbing areas developed a long time ago may have some steep 10s that might equate to 11s in the newer areas.

With that in mind, here's my short explanation of how routes are given certain ratings. Rating are based on: how easy/hard the moves on the route are, hold availability and quality, and finally, endurance and exposure factors. Climbs are generally rated by their hardest "crux" move but if a route is consistently hard throughout the climb it might be given a higher rating based on the "endurance" needed to complete it.

Feel free to comment on this article and/or my "novice - crazy rock diety" breakdown in the chart above on the forum boards ;)

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