I walk to my local climbing gym and the setters mark their routes with some difficulty mark. I will use the European scale.

After some time I noticed, that there are routes of a lower difficulty, like 5c+, that are harder for me than 6b. But for other people with a similar level of technique it's vice versa.

I tried to repeat the same moves and just can't, because in a lot of cases it's like: they grab the hold on the shoulder level, I grab it on the level of my chest; they grab the slopper with a full palm, while I barely fit the half; or they grab the cringes with three fingers, while I can fit only two.

Is it just lack of my technique, or does the difficulty of the route hardly depend on my height and other "sizes"?

I just want to clarify, if this ok not to pass some 6a (while doing 6b), because it's for smaller climbers, or I just need to train harder and pass every possible 6a route :)


Every route can be climbed with a set of styles. Hard outdoor routes and indoor routes in general often force the climber in a particular style.

A Style can be formed by a particular set of

  • Technique (e.g.: dropknees, Anti-Barndoor)
  • Grip types (e.g.: crimpy, sloper)
  • Movement style (e.g.: powerful, endurance, delicate)

If you perform worse in one style compared to another the reason can be a technical or physical weakness, but also things like height, finger size and so on.

So yes, some routes are harder for some climbers.

For your second question whether it's OK to ditch routes:

  • You can learn a lot when climbing routes which are not your style in the 'soft' terms (Technique, movement style, Grip types). By that your 'strong' styles can even change.
  • If you are to tall, short, short-fingered, ... for a route it gets much harder. However you often can buffer that by a different technique (also something which requires exercise).
  • In the end we all are climbing for fun, so if you really dislike a particular style, don't climb it.

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