On BLX we grade our Routes in 5 different categories from beginner to expert level.
The goal is to touch in a controlled way with both hands at the last grip marked with the same color as the starting grip.
Every boulder is indicated by 10 cm strips of colored tape. For a correct start each limb, hands, and feet need to touch the holds with the tapes.
Two tapes on one hold and two on another means you start with two limbs on each (hands and feet).
Each so-called “problem” consists of grips of the same color.
The color of the tape indicates the degree of difficulty of the problem – so-called “Grading”.
Green tape indicates the first level, suitable for novel climbers, followed by Blue, Red, Black, and lastly White. In the gym, each color grade will contain Routes in different types of terrain and style of climbing, meaning that some may feel harder than others depending on your climbing strengths.
Important to know is that each level of difficulty has an easy, medium, and hard grade within it. So for example a Blue taped boulder can be easy, medium, or hard within that level of difficulty. The grading is always subjective to a certain degree because we build problems that require many different abilities such as arm strength, finger strength, body tension, balance or dynamic movement.
In addition to grips marked in different colors, there are also black boxes in geometric shapes on the wall, such as pyramids, called “Volumes”. These shapes are considered to be part of the wall and can thus always be used with both hands and feet.
Climbing is not about overcoming as many problems as possible, but about finding problems that you like and that challenge you. We build problems that not only require strength, but are also tricky and that you need to test yourself on. For example, you may need to test whether it is best to start with the right or left hand, or if you should place the hand in a special way in the grip.
This is perfectly normal if you may need up to ten or over twenty attempts at a problem. Sometimes several visits are required to solve a certain problem and you then have a so-called “project”. Once you complete a project, the joy will be even greater!