In climbing school we find climbing routes from 3 to 8 with subdivisions a, b, c, the 5c being harder than the 5a.
How it works ?
To simplify, the quotations start as soon as you put your hands.
- The first degree would be a big staircase with slightly high and small steps.
- To cross the second degree is more or less like climbing the ladder. There are first and second degree passages on the hiking trails.
- With a harness and a rope, just about anyone can climb from 3, even young children. On the other hand for more than a few meters, the need for rope is generally felt.
- In a 4 we start to think a little bit about the choice of takes; not all the time, not long, but we hesitate a little. Some paths start to get complicated in sneakers.
- The 5 can pose a problem to a beginner, even in second, and provided with slippers.
Until then we are still in the climbing “leisure”, but to pass from 6a, you have to climb regularly, beyond that, you really enter on a specific training.
It is not true that “climbing begins at 6a”, when we look at the distribution of the frequentation in the cliffs, we notice that the easy routes are very much in demand! It is true that they are often few in number, the walls not very vertical being sometimes very vegetal or earthy, the development of easy ways requires much work.^many people nevertheless practice climbing at a level “leisure”.
The 9th degree exists but this remains the exception
The ninth degree is the highest level of difficulty in sport climbing according to the French rating system. It is composed of 6 grades: 9a, 9a+, 9b, 9b+, 9c and 9c+, even if currently no channel is rated 9c+. The first way whose quotation was recognized in this degree, is Direct Action, opened by Wolfgang Güllich in 1991.
At the beginning of 2014, there are nearly 300 channels in the ninth degree, including about thirty rated 9a+, 10 rated 9b and 4 at the 9b+ level and one rated 9c.