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"The Height of Injustice"
OffLine 8a.nu
  2018-02-22 00:00:00    
Chris Ring has done some analysis based on the 8a.nu database to see if height and age have any impact on the reached peak climbing grade in routes and bouldering for U.S. climbers. R & I has found Ring's analysis interesting and published a long article.

Looking at the diagram we can see that for 80 percent of U.S. route climbers, their peak performance varied within the 5.12b/c range, for boulderers it was V8 level. Taking into account the overall curve, in bouldering, the very shortest and tallest climbers generally reach a lower grade. Among the route climbers, a short body height might be an advantage, as shorter climbers reached higher grades on average.

However, the differences can be considered rather small – all average peak grades range among the 5.12 and V7/8 level. Ring concludes that to him, "our subjective climbing grading scale is pretty good. […] It would be unfortunate if a super long reach was a prerequisite for climbing most 5.12s. And it turns out that it isn’t."

As a side note, from the very best on rock it is interesting to see that when it comes to grades, a 155 cm female and a 185 cm male (Eiter and Ondra) have achieved the highest grade. In bouldering and in competitions, it is the same, it is impossible to say what is best as many of the top climbers are just around 160 cm or above 180 cm.
Click to Enlarge Picture
OnLine Bojan
  2018-02-22 17:22:19    
Seems like a nice little study which despite some limitations (adult Americans, mostly male, outdoors--not comps, 8a database, unknown models tested, standard error and heteroscedasticity …) brings clear (and expected) finding: height doesn't really matter outdoor *if* you measure success with single highest RP grade ever reached. There are millions of routes and boulder problems out there so most of us have a chance to find something that suits our height.
Also, it's a relief to confirm, climbing is one of the rare sport disciplines where bodies of average height prevail.
A little difference between sport7/boulder in the left part of the graph seems maybe counter-intuitive for someone (it seems short climbers are hindered in most of the routes), but in fact it is logical: (for max. RP) in sport climbing being short is an advantage – as above you can find a route which suits your height and *then* your small stature is an *advantage* as it goes with lower *weight*, which is important esp. in long, endurance routes.
Which brings us to the old ‘truth’: what really matters is weight, not height ;)
---

"Looking at the diagram we can see that for 80 percent of U.S. route climbers, their peak performance varied within the 5.12b/c range" -- this is misinterpretation.
OffLine Jesse Weiner
  2018-02-22 18:59:33    
I’ll be interested to see how this relates to grades past V10 and 513
OffLine starboarder2001
  2018-02-22 19:10:19    
I think reach (arm span) and weight are more significant points to measure rather than just height.
OffLine Rafa Cliiiiiimb .
  2018-02-22 20:24:16    
Amazing analysis, congratulations!!! I think it will be very interesting also an analysis only with the weight and if it is possible, compare height and weight for the same climber and climbing grades.
Good job
Regards
OffLine dreamingof8a
  2018-02-23 11:11:27    
And finger length: short fingers -> jugs galore!