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Public-images-osm logo.svg sport = climbing
Dscf0658 600.jpg
Marks elements to represent natural climbing sites (climbing areas, sectors, crags, halls, frozen waterfalls, etc.) or artificial climbs (climbing walls, indoor climbing etc.)
Group: Sports
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesmay be used on waysmay be used on areasmay be used on relations
Useful combination
See also
Status: in use

The tag sport=climbing marks elements to represent natural climbing sites (climbing areas, sectors, crags, halls, frozen waterfalls, etc.) or artificial climbs (climbing walls, Indoor climbing etc.). To be able to map finer details like single routes, pitches etc., Proposed features/Climbing exists.

Here, also meta data like amount of routes, grades, links to operators/topos etc. are considerd to enable a wide range of use of the data, e.g. a search for rocks matching user defined criteria (distance, grade, bolting, route length etc.).

Note: For JOSM an according extension of the preset is suggested in ticket 16525. Until this is included in released JOSM versions, the preset attached to the ticket can be saved locally and be imported manually into JOSM.

See also:

In contrast to this tag, Proposed features/Climbing focuses on description of detailed information like single routes, which

  • is quickly reaching the limits of current, two dimensional hard- and software for mapping, map display etc.
  • will usually not be rendered on maps because it horizontally stretches only minimal, which raises several questions like: Relevance of routes? What shall OSM contain? Purpose?
  • means a huge amount of elements that have to be tagged, so a long time is required to accumulate the critical mass making the data set useful
  • makes it more difficult to agree on a suiting tagging convention, because a big amount of variances exist


This scheme should be preferably applied to node nodes for artificial climbing walls. It may be applied to way ways in conjunction with natural=cliff or area areas for climbing halls with building=yes. The scheme also applies 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 = Value 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 styles

If any of those tags is not stated explicitly, it defaults to 'no'.

To facilitate good multi tagging, it shall be easier to have one tag for each climbing style. In theory, it is possible that the amount of tags massively grows, but in practice a hand full of tags shall suffice (if appropriate, summarizing). The list of wikipedia:Climbing serves as first indication.

Tag Value Description
climbing:boulder=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Bouldering is possible.
climbing:sport=* yes / no / <Number of routes> Sport_climbing (relies on permanent, fixed anchors) is possible.
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.
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.


As only a crag or region but no individual routes are tagged in this scheme, 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 eixst. 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.

minimum/maximum/average grade according to the UIAA grading system, e.g. 1-, 1, 1+, 2-, 2 etc.
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.
minimum/maximum/average grade according to the saxon grading system, e.g. VI, VIIa, VIIb etc, predominantly used in the Saxon Switzerland, Germany
...aid... A0 to A5 for aid routes (DE: Technisches Klettern)
...hueco... V-scale used with bouldering in the United States.
...yds_class... Yosemite Decimal System class
... ...

Additional information

Above information just tells that and how climbing is possible at a site. Everyone is happy about additional information. Here some suggestions:

Tag Value Description
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.

  • N
  • NE
  • E


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 fo cliffs.
  • fragile
  • medium
  • solid


Quality of the rock/ice.
  • limestone
  • sandstone
  • granite
  • basalt


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=* 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.


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 beards, 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).


Tag approach paths using access=destination within nature reservoirs etc. where leaving of hiking paths is forbidden (result of a voting in the Tagging List [1]).

Pictogram Examples

Photo Examples


Like other specialised sports, these tags are not rendered on the general map. Therefore, these engines visualise them:

The following renderer display these tags