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Logo. Feature : Climbing
One example for Feature : Climbing
Climbing and related features



climbing=*, climbing:*=*, sport=climbing

A set of tags to describe climbing facilities, routes, and crags.

Climbing sites

The general location of natural or man made climbing sites can be marked with sport=climbing. This can be applied to node nodes for artificial climbing walls or to way ways in conjunction with natural=cliff or area areas for climbing halls with building=yes. It can be also applied to boulders attached to bedrock natural=rock and free standing boulders natural=stone.

Basic tags

The most important, basic tags to describe a climbing site:

Tag Description
sport=climbing Climbing is possible here.
name=* Name of the crag/climbing hall/boulder, if applicable.
Artificial climbing wall outdoors (Teufelsberg, Berlin)
Artificial climbing wall.
In combination with building=yes or similar it is indoors, otherwise outdoors, for example on a playground.

For tower-like structures, man_made=tower and tower:type=climbing can be added.

Climbing areas

All of the crags within a climbing area can be grouped into a relation and must be tagged with climbing=area.

To indicate what different climbing styles are part of the site use the climbing styles tag.

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon
climbing area nodearea A region with numerous climbing routes.
name * relation Name of the area


All of the routes within a crag can be grouped into a relation and must be tagged with climbing=crag.

To indicate what different climbing styles are part of the crag use the climbing styles tag.

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon
climbing crag nodearea A small area with climbing routes, often just a small cliff face or a few boulders.
name * relation Name of the crag


Boulders are small rocks that have "problems" instead of routes. Sometimes they can be climbed with less protection than other areas to practice moves. There are two possibilities to map them:

A free-standing rock with a single "route" could be mapped as, e.g., natural=stone + sport=climbing +

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon
climbing boulder nodearea This is a boulder
name * relation Name of the boulder

Crags or sites with more routes can be mapped as site or crag in combination with climbing:boulder=yes.

Climbing routes

Climbing routes can be mapped with a single node marking the bottom of the route, tagged as climbing=route_bottom, or two nodes tagged with climbing=route_bottom and climbing=route_top connected by a way tagged as climbing=route.

Since climbing routes are generally quite vertical, the start and end nodes may be almost on top of each other. The rationale behind allowing two nodes and a connecting way, even though they may be extremely close on the map, is to allow a path connecting to the bottom of the route to be differentiated from a path connecting to the top. As such, if there is no top-access to the route, only a single node, marking the start, is probably preferable - see discussion.

If the climbing route is more or less horizontal or doesn't have a clear top/bottom it may be mapped only with a way or node climbing=route

Key Value Element Comment Example Icon
name * nodeway Name of the route.
climbing route_bottom node This is the bottom of a climbing route.
climbing bolt node This is a point of protection permanently installed in a hole drilled into the rock, to which a metal hanger is attached, with a hole for a carabiner or ring.  
climbing route_top node This is the top of a climbing route.  
climbing route nodeway This is the route itself (but see the note above).  
climbing:bolts <number> nodeway The number of bolts in the route (indicates how much gear you have to take).  
climbing:length * nodeway The length of the route (in metres).  
climbing:pitches * nodeway How many pitches make up the route? (Defaults to 1).  

Climbing styles

Tags for multiple climbing styles can be combined and more tags can be invented as needed, the list of wikipedia:Climbing serves as first indication. If any of those tags is not stated explicitly, it defaults to 'no'.

Can be applied to single routes, boulders, crags or general climbing sites.

Tag Value Description
climbing:boulder=* yes / no / <Number of routes> / <Climbing surface>m² Bouldering is possible.
climbing:sport=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Sport climbing (relies on permanent, fixed anchors) is possible. In the context of gyms: lead climbing.
climbing:speed=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Speed climbing Facility has a standardized speed climbing wall.
climbing:toprope=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Top rope climbing (approach at the route top and letting the rope down) is possible. Fixed or natural anchors may be placed at the top, but routes may not have protection for leading. In the context of gyms: top ropes are provided, permanently hanging from the wall every few metres.
climbing:trad=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Traditional climbing (no fixed anchors, gear has to be placed by yourself) is possible. Cannot be expressed by climbing:bolted=no if a climbing site also offers sport climbing.
climbing:multipitch=* yes / no / <Number of routes> There are multi-pitch routes.
climbing:ice=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Icefalls or the like enable ice climbing. In contrast to mixed climbing, no rock climbing is involved here.
climbing:mixed=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Mixed climbing on partially iced rocks is possible.
climbing:deepwater=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Steep cliffs with deep enough water below permit deep-water soloing.


Can be applied to single routes, boulders, crags or general climbing sites.

When used for crags or regions, we have to specify a difficulty, aid or danger range from easiest to most difficult route. The main character of a climbing area is tagged using mean.

Numerous grading systems exist. Map the usual one(s) for the climbing spot, i.e. commonly used ones - grades in other systems can be derived by conversion. In this tagging scheme, you can use any system by deriving the key from the system's name or acronym similar to the following examples.

Tag Description
climbing:grade:uiaa=* Grade according to the UIAA grading system, e.g. 1-, 1, 1+, 2-, 2, etc.

UIAA grades are used in some parts of central and eastern Europe. The UIAA system is sanctioned by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.

Minimum/maximum/average grade according to the UIAA grading system, e.g. 1-, 1, 1+, 2-, 2, etc.
climbing:grade:french=* Grade according to the French grading system, e.g. 4, 5a, 5b, etc. Here, we do not distinguish between bouldering (FB) and climbing.

French grades are widespread even outside France.

Minimum/maximum/average grade according to the French grading system, e.g. 4, 5a, 5b, etc. Here, we do not distinguish between bouldering (FB) and climbing.
climbing:grade:saxon=* Grade according to the Saxon grading system, e.g. VI, VIIa, VIIb, etc, predominantly used in the Saxon Switzerland, Germany
Minimum/maximum/average grade according to the Saxon grading system, e.g. VI, VIIa, VIIb etc, predominantly used in the Saxon Switzerland, Germany
climbing:grade:aid=* A0 to A5 for aid routes (DE: Technisches Klettern)
climbing:grade:hueco=* V-scale used with bouldering in the United States; e.g. V0, V1, V2, etc.
climbing:grade:yds_class=* Yosemite Decimal System class, e.g. 5.7, 5.10a, 5.12d, etc.
climbing:grade:ice=* Waterfall ice climbing, e.g. WI2, WI3+, etc.
... ...

The following conversion chart can be used for approximate conversion between different grading systems. This information can also be found in a CSV format here: grading_system_conversion.csv.

Climbing grading systems conversion chart
UIAA, Germany UK Tech UK ADJ FB, French British French Saxon, Swiss Nordic, Scandinavian YDS, YDS_class V Grade WI Mixed
System used by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation. The British grading system for traditional climbs. The Adjectival English Scale or the overall assessment scale. Sport climbing in Britain and Ireland uses the French grading system. The French numerical system rates a climb according to the overall technical difficulty and strenuousness of the route. The Saxon grading system was developed in the beginning of the 20th century for the formidable Saxon Switzerland climbing region. The Nordic grading system. The Yosemite Decimal System of grading routes of hikes and climbs developed for the Sierra Nevada range. V scale grading system, created by John Sherman, which is the most widely used system in North America. Waterfall ice rating system as used in the Canadian Rockies. Mixed climbing has its own grading scale that roughly follows the WI rating system.
1− 1 M 1 1 I 1 5 VB− WI2 M2
1 1 M 1 1 I 1 5 VB− WI2 M2
1+ 1 M 1 1 I 1 5 VB− WI2 M2
2− 2 M/D 1 2 II 1 5.1 VB− WI2 M2
2 2 M/D 1 2 II 1 5.1 VB− WI2 M2
2+ 2 M/D 1 2 II 1 5.2 VB− WI2 M2
3− 3 D 1/2 3 III 1/2 5.2 VB− WI2 M2
3 3 D 1/2 3 III 1/2 5.3 VB− WI3 M3
3+ 3 D 1/2 3 III 1/2 5.3 VB− WI3 M3
4− 4a D/VD 2 4 IV 2 5.4 VB− WI3 M3
4 4a D/VD 2 4 IV 2 5.5 VB− WI3 M3
4+ 4a VD 2 4+ IV/V 2 5.6 VB− WI3 M3
5− 4a/4b S 2/3 5a V 2/3 5.7 VB−/VB WI3 M3
5 4b HS 3 5a/5b VI 3 5.8 VB WI4 M4
5+ 4c HS/VS 4a 5b VI/VIIa 4a 5.9 VB/V0− WI5 M5
6− 4c/5a VS 4a/4b 5b/5c VIIa 4a/4b 5.10a V0− WI6 M6
6 5a HVS 4b 5c VIIb 4b 5.10b V0−/V0 WI6 M6
6+ 5a/5b E1 4c 6a VIIc 4c 5.10c V0 WI6 M6
7− 5b E1/E2 5a 6a+ VIIIa 5a 5.10d V0+ WI6 M6
7 5b/5c E2 5b 6b VIIIb 5b 5.11a V1 WI7 M7
7+ 5c E2/E3 5c 6b+ VIIIc 5c 5.11b V1/V2 WI7 M7
8− 5c/6a E3 6a 6c IXa 6a 5.11c V2 WI8 M8
8 6a E4 6b 7a IXb 6b 5.11d V3 WI8 M8
8+ 6a E4/E5 6b+ 7a+ IXc 6b+ 5.12a V3/V4 WI8 M8
9− 6b E5 6c 7b+ Xa 6c 5.12b V4 WI8 M8
9 6b/6c E6 6c+ 7c Xb 6c+ 5.12c V4/V5 WI9 M9
9+ 6c E6/E7 7a 7c+ Xc 7a 5.12d V5 WI9 M9
10− 6c E7 7a+ 8a Xc 7a+ 5.13a V6 WI9 M9
10 6c/7a E7/E8 7a+/7b 8a/8a+ Xc/XIa 7a+/7b 5.13b V6/V7 WI9 M9
10+ 7a E8 7b 8a+ XIa 7b 5.13c V7 WI10 M10
11− 7a E9 7b+ 8b XIb 7b+ 5.13d V8 WI10 M10
11 7a/7b E9/E10 7c 8b+ XIc 7c 5.14a V9 WI10 M10
11+ 7b E10 7c+ 8c XIc/XIIa 7c+ 5.14b V10 WI10 M10
12− 7b E11 7c+/8a 8c+ XIIa 7c+/8a 5.14c V10/V11 WI11 M11
12 7b E11 8a 9a XIIb 8a 5.14d V11 WI11 M11
12+ >7b >E11 8a+/8b 9a+ XIIb/XIIc 8a+/8b 5.15a V12 WI11 M11
13− >7b >E11 8b 9a+/9b XIIc 8b 5.15a V13 WI11 M11
13 >7b >E11 8b+ 9b XIIc 8b+ 5.15b V14 WI12 M12
13+ >7b >E11 8c 9b+ >XIIc 8c 5.15c V15 WI13 M13
14− >7b >E11 8c+ 9c >XIIc 8c+ 5.15d V15 WI13 M13

Additional information

Most of this can be applied to single routes, boulders, crags or general climbing sites, for some details climbing routes have more options - see the section about climbing routes.

Key Value Description
climbing:bolt=* abseil / anchor Is the bolt designed for abseiling / fixed anchors? Abseiling points can also be mapped as separate points to allow easier location.
climbing:bolts=* yes / no / <nr of bolts> Are there fixed anchors? If so, how many bolts are there? How much gear is needed?
climbing:bolted=* yes / no / <average bolt distance in meters> Are there fixed anchors? If so, what is their average distance (by default in meter, other units overview)? Provides a first indication how well the routes are secured.


Average, minimum and maximum length of routes in meters (for other units refer to units overview).

May significantly differ from wall height for roofs or slanted walls. This values is important for deciding, which rope to take.


yes / no / <number of routes> / <climbing surface>m² Mainly for artificial walls, indicate whether given climbing style (i.e. sport or boulder) is indoor or outdoor and how big it is
  • N
  • NE
  • E
  • etc.
Orientation of the rock/wall face. Helps to asses at what hour of the day it might be sunny and how long it takes a wall to get dry after rain. If the cliffs are also tagged, too, this information may be derived but tagging still gives a quicker overview and limits to the climbable parts of cliffs.
  • fragile
  • medium
  • solid
  • etc.
Quality of the rock/ice.
  • limestone
  • sandstone
  • granite
  • basalt
  • etc.
For rock climbing this tag describes the kind of rock available. This information is irrelevant for e.g. ice climbing.
climbing:routes=* Positive integer number Amount of routes on this crag (if not tagged in the climbing styles).
climbing:summit_log=* yes The climbing feature has a route / summit log (summit register, de:Gipfelbuch). This tag is clearer in describing the purpose than summit:register=yes.
ele=* When used with the general climbing site average elevation (height above sea level) at the bottom of the routes in meters. This is not the length of a route or the elevation of the route's top end. When used on other nodes specific to the marked point.


yes / no Artificial climbing structures can have routes indoor, outdoor or both. Natural climbs may be placed inside caves. In the absence of this tag, outdoor should be assumed as default.
website=* URL Official website, e.g. operator
url=* URL Unofficial website with useful information like topos
  • Mo-Su 08:00-18:00
  • Sep-May


Artificial walls often have fixed opening hours. For rocks there might be restrictions due to breeding birds, etc.
fee=* yes / no / interval Artificial walls or climbing halls may charge an entrance fee, natural climbing sites may require a membership in a club (may be day based).


The tag TagInfo path=climbing_access should be used for paths dedicated to access climbing crags, not for general hiking.

Tag approach paths using access=destination within nature reserves etc. where leaving of hiking paths is forbidden.[1]

Pictogram examples

Photo examples

Renderer and applications

Like other specialised sports, these tags are not rendered in the standard OpenCarto style. Therefore, these engines visualise them:

The following renderer displays these tags

Related tags

Map features

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!


Proposed features where we could share ideas and maybe re-use common tags:


The tags are in active use - see

pangoSE estimate that, as of September 2018, at least 14000 real world climbing sites exist (estimated from sport=climbing and leisure=climbing) and out of these 10-20% are mapped more detailed with the more detailed keys. climbing=*:

  1. (result of a voting in the Tagging List [1])