Trad Grades Explained

Do you know why a something described as 'Very Difficult' is easier than something labelled 'E1'? Or why the grade E2 5a can elicit shudders whereas HVS 6a brings forth a rueful smile?!

In order to understand UK trad grades, it’s useful to also understand the concept of the French grading system (usually used for sport and indoor climbing). If you already feel confident in your knowledge of this system skip straight to the trad grading explanation a third of the way down this page.