Mixed climbing

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Mixed climbing is a combination of ice climbing and rock climbing generally using ice climbing equipment such as crampons and ice tools.[1][2] 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.

Rating YDS WI Notes
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.
M10 5.12
M11 5.12+
M12 5.13-


  1. ^ Gadd, Will; Roger Chayer (November 2003). Ice & Mixed Climbing: Modern Technique (First ed.). Mountaineers Books. ISBN 0-89886-769-X. 
  2. ^ Cox, Steven M.; Kris Fulsaas, eds. (2003-09). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills (7 ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers. ISBN 0-89886-828-9.  Check date values in: |date= (help)