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Rich Purnell mixed-climbing a route rated M9.
Mixed climbing is a combination of ice climbing and rock climbing generally using ice climbing equipment such as crampons and ice tools. Mixed climbing has inspired its own specialized gear such as boots which are similar to climbing shoes but feature built in crampons. Dry-tooling is mixed climbing's most specialized skill and has since evolved into a "sport" unto itself.
Roughly follows the WI rating system with respect to its physical and technical demands. Typically starts at M4. Subgrades of "-" and "+" are commonly used, although the distinctions are typically very subjective. The following table makes a comparison with the Yosemite Decimal System (YDS) and the WI system. Comparing these is rough and only gives an idea of the relative difficulty; the reason different systems exist in the first place is because it's difficult to compare grades between climbing media.
|M4||5.8||WI4||slabby to vertical, some technical drytooling|
|M5||5.9||WI5||some sections of sustained drytooling|
|M6||5.10||WI6||vertical to overhanging with some difficult drytooling|
|M7||5.11||WI7||overhanging, powerful and technical drytooling, less than 10 metres (33 ft) of "hard" climbing|
|M8||5.11+||bouldery or longer cruxes than M7, some horizontal overhangs|
|M9||5.12-||vertical or steeper with sustained marginal or highly technical drytooling; or horizontal and juggy for up to a few body lengths.|
- Gadd, Will; Roger Chayer (November 2003). Ice & Mixed Climbing: Modern Technique (First ed.). Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-769-X.
- Cox, Steven M. and Kris Fulsaas, ed., ed. (2003-09). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (7 ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-828-9. Check date values in:
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