Aid Ratings




As apposed to Free Climbing, Aiding Climbing describes a style where equipment is used to move over the rock.

The rating system used for Aid Climbing describes the number of sequential protection placements that can only hold bodyweight (but not a fall). As can be expected, an increase in aid rating also increases the potential for a longer fall.

Aiding requiring a hammer (to drive in protection) is prefixed "A" ,whereas hammerless or clean aid is prefixed with a "C".


A0 or C0

(Also known as French Free) is where the climber pulls on the protection to advance. A0 does not usually require the use of Aiders

A1 or C1

Easy Aid. All placements are reliable and there is little chance of a fall.

A2 or C2

Moderate Aid. One or two body weight placements with the balance being reliable. There is usually a 2 to 10 metre fall potential and most A2 pitches require 2 to 3 hours to complete.

A3 or C3

Hard Aid. Three to five sequential body weight placements and a 10 to 20 metre fall potential. Most A3 pitches require 2 to 3 hours to complete.

A4 or C4

Serious Aid. Six to eight sequential body weight placements and a 20 to 30 metre fall potential. Most A4 pitches require more than 3 hours to complete.

A5 or C5

Extreme Aid. Nine or more sequential body weight placements and a fall potential of more that 30 metres. Most A5 pitches take more that 4 hours to complete.


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Copyright Steven Riddell 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003.