Home Forums Bouldering WA Comparison of “V” bouldering grades and Aus climbing grades

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
  • #9560 Reply

    Just wondering what the regular boulderers recon the comparison should be between Sherman’s V-scale bouldering grades and the Ewbank Aus climbing grades. My own ideas on this are in the Perth Climbing Guide and on my blog here (same table): rossclimbing.typepad.com/gradecomparison2.pdf

    There is plenty of stuff on the web, much of it wildly different from anything else.

    As for the “cannot compare…chalk and cheese” argument I recon it is a bit suspect…if the Ewbank free climbing scale can be used for anything from a 10m sport route to a 300m trad gearfriggery, then why could it not be used for a 5m bouldering problem? (and thus directly compared to a bouldering scale)


    #9561 Reply

    v grade to ewbank is roughly considered to be v-grade + 21.

    Therefore V10 = 31.

    Of course this is riddled with inconsistency and room for error but in an imperfect world is probably as good as it gets.

    I once read some comparison analysis on Australian Bouldering.com (website now dead?)that left me utterly confused, to the point where I have out it out of my memory for ever.

    #9562 Reply

    I’ve always been told v grade +21 as well, and in my limited bouldering experiance it seems to hold up ok.

    #9563 Reply

    That’s the way I put it into the Perth guidebook but come to think of it a bit more deeply it does not seem to be true at the bottom of the scale….maybe V0 is more like 18, V1 is more like 20, V2 is like 22 and then the +21 rule kicks in V3/24, V4/25, V5/26…. ??? Not that any of this really matters, just jabbering….

    #9564 Reply

    The comparison on the Australian bouldering site (it still works just has not been updated for ages) is as good as conversion as you will get. The grades of Perth boulder problems are about right when compared to this and other areas I have bouldered outdoors in (NZ, Sydney, Tassie and Victoria). There is so much conjecture of grades of routes, and boulder problems are worse as the moves are often more specific and the sequences short leading them to be easy for some types of climbers and hard for others.

    #9565 Reply

    Thanks, the tables on that site look pretty good. I recon the climbing grade conversions are spot on which gives me faith that the bouldering grades are pretty right also. Cheers again.

    #9566 Reply

    Does this comparison happen more often from a route climber’s perspective compared to a boulderer?

    eg. Does any V4-V5 boulderer out there think that a 25-26 would be the equivalent? And done the comparison?

    #9567 Reply

    When I was in the US in ’99 I could boulder V3 at Bishop, CA and at the same time I was redpointing quite a few 5.11d (Aus 24) so the +21 rule worked for me then. I guess this is one way to compare the grading systems. Would not know for the higher grades…. 🙁

    #9568 Reply
    John Knight

    My view has always been that comparing the two grading scales directly is pointless, but….

    I think you need the skills of a 21 for a *proper* V0, and the skills of a 22 for a V1, and so on. The whole concept of epic run outs and pooing your pants is pretty much irrelevant when scrambling up a five metre boulder, and you obviously don’t have endurance as a factor.

    V0 is a grade that gets shagged around a lot because people want to just label all the climbs in an area and be done with it, so you get a sort inflation/deflation where that grade gets highly tampered with. I think I’ve seen V0 Minus around, but I’m not sure about that.

    Anyway, coming back to the main argument, I think comparing the grades of regular climbing is apples and oranges, but I agree with the principle of 21 and onwards for the bag of tricks required to send the route.

    #9569 Reply

    Hey Jon, see last para in my original post.

    There is no problem with comparing apples and oranges that I can see….both are fruit, they grow on supermarket shelves, are mostly edible, about the same size and of similar cost! See?

    #9570 Reply

    Oranges are great. Peeling juicy oranges can help get a better grip on the stone.

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
Reply To: Comparison of “V” bouldering grades and Aus climbing grades
Your information:

Scroll to Top