Setting at Big Rock

Our climbing is designed around progression and provides a pathway from your very first experience to elite performance. No matter what the grade, our climbs are created to be fun and engaging while helping you build on your skills to progress through the grades.

Routes at Big Rock are graded using the French (Sport) grading system. Our routes start at 3 and increase numerically. As the difficulty increases the grades become more fine-tuned with the addition of a, b, and c from 4 upwards, and the addition of + to the letters above 6a. The grade will be indicated at the start of each route.

Our bouldering problems, or blocs, are graded using the V (or Heuco) scale. Starting at VB, the scale then uses V and a number increasing from 0 to denote the difficulty of the bloc. Each bloc is part of a circuit with a grade band, indicated by the tag at the start of each bloc.

If you’re already familiar with a different grading system, the ROCKFAX website has a handy grade conversion chart.

We aim to re-set each line every 10 weeks and each bouldering area every 8 weeks, however this can change if we need to set for a competition, or during exceptionally busy periods such as half-term or bank holidays.

Unfortunately there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to grading climbs. It’s down to the knowledge and experience of our route setters to decide on the grade. They consider a variety of factors such as the crux moves, the height of the route, the type of holds, and the wall terrain before they settle on an objective grade.

Different climbers will experience the same climb in different ways, and often solve the puzzle differently. Some are really strong and like to climb dynamically, while others will prefer slow static moves and focus on footwork.

Don’t worry if you don’t manage a climb with a grade you normally climb. See it as a challenge and try to solve the problem, that’s part of the fun!

So, how do setters go about creating a climb?

Find out about the setting process in this video:

Loved a line? Got a grumble with a grade? Let us know!


Current routes & blocs

Choose you centre and the climbing area to see the full up-to-date list of climbs. The re-set date is a guide only.





What’s new, and what’s due!

Check below to find out about where you can find the freshest sets, or have a sneak peek at where we plan to re-set in the next 2 weeks.