How Hard Is The Speed Climbing Route? The official speed climbing route is around a 5.10c/d or 6a+ grade.
While there is no official grade for the standardized speed climbing route, it is estimated to be around a 5.10a to 5.10c. That grade means less when competitors are climbing as fast as possible. Elite climbers don't touch every hold and seem to fly up the wall instead of climb it.
The route is rated at about a 5.10+, a fairly moderate route in terms of difficulty. With all of the holds being identical however, it's difficult to assign an exact rating (I've seen it listed as a 5.10a and a 5.10c. I thought it was on the easier side when I tried it.).
Speed climbing, according to the official Olympic rules, sees two climbers scale identical routes up 15-metre-high wall angled at 95 degrees with safety ropes. Whoever is fastest wins.
The holds and order are always identical, and the difficulty rating is around F6b (approximately YDS 5.10c), which is a level most recreational climbers could complete.
The world record for speed climbing currently belongs to Iuliia Kaplina on the women's side. She scurried up a 15-meter wall in 6.96 seconds in November. On the men's side, the record belongs to Indonesian climber Veddriq Leonardo: 5.208 seconds, set in May.
The very fastest climber, Iranian Reza Alipour, set the world record at 5.48 seconds in 2017.
Scoring is a combination of each climber's place in the three disciplines. The places are multiplied together and lowest total wins. An example: if a climber places first in boulder, second in lead, 10th in speed, their total would be 20.
HOW IS LEAD CLIMBING SCORED IN THE OLYMPICS? Lead climbing is scored in a point system, where each hold an athlete reaches and uses in control on the wall gains them a point. The climber who climbs the highest wins the highest score which is then multiplied by their scores in the two other disciplines.
Ever since the inclusion of Sport Climbing in the Olympic Games, climbers and the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) have angled toward three distinct medal events: Lead, Speed, and Boulder. Preceding the Tokyo Olympics, the decision was made to separate Speed from Lead and Boulder.
5.11 As A Climbing Grade
Dedicated climbers may reach the 5.11 level with plenty of practice. At this particular level, you can find vertical terrains and overhangs with tiny holds. If you can achieve 5.11, then you belong in the top 40% of climbers. Rocks of this level need more skill and technique.
Vertically, the distance is 188 mm from the edge and 125 mm between holds.
Like the quarter-mile track, every speed climbing course is the same. They all have the same holds—actually the same two holds, 20 identically juggy hand-holds and 10 identically fantastic foot jibs—in exactly the same configuration on a wall that is always exactly 5 degrees overhanging for exactly 15 meters.
Sport climbing's Olympic program is broken down into three disciplines: speed, bouldering and lead. Lead is a lot like what people see on indoor recreational walls, only much, much harder. The scoring is simple, too: climbers have six minutes to see who can make it the highest on the 45-meter wall.
The zone-score is used in the case of a tie between two competitors (i.e. they have the same top-score). If two competitors have the same top-score and zone-score, the results from the previous round (semi-final or qualification) are taken into account.
The eight climbers that will contend the sport's maiden Olympic men's combined final have been confirmed after a thrilling day of action at Tokyo 2020.
Spain's Alberto Gines Lopez is sport climbing's first ever Olympic champion after winning the men's combined event at Tokyo 2020. The 18-year-old pulled off a stunning triumph after a truly thrilling end to a closely contested final. Available on Eurosport app.
Multiplying gives a very big weighting to getting first, using a points system can lower this weighting, but still ends up with weird anomalies. The problem with simply adding the positions is that there are too many possible ties.
The current world records (as of the submission of this paper) are 5.48 s for men and 7.10 s for women (International Federation of Sports Climbing [IFSC], 2019a), corresponding to an average climbing speed of 2.74 and 2.11 m/s, respectively.
How Fast Can a Human Climb? A skilled speed climber can climb up to 165 meters in one minute on a moderately difficult path. This is close to climbing about 2.75 meters (9 feet) per second! Admittedly, a person has to go through some serious training before achieving this level of proficiency.
To win the first Olympic medal in climbing, athletes must master three drastically different disciplines: speed, bouldering and lead. The speed walls have a consistent route up a standardized 15-meter wall. The boulder climb is a short, ropeless ascent over mats.
At the record-winning event, Usain Bolt's average ground speed was 37.58km/h, whilst reaching a top speed of 44.72km/h in the 60-80m stretch – numbers fitting for the world's fastest man.
The bouldering wall was four meters in height, and the lead wall was be 15 meters high.
Unlike in sport climbing's other disciplines — bouldering and lead climbing — the speed climbing route never changes and is identical on every competition wall around the world. Because of this, athletes are able to memorize movements on their way to the electronic timing pad above.