Tuesday, September 24, 2019

New Topic: Climbing Progression Over Time (how fast will you become better)

In the next weeks, we will explore a new topic. We will statistically look how fast individuals typically improve in rock climbing and bouldering using multilevel models. For this purpose we will consider average (and exceptional) experience-grade profiles based on gender, starting age and starting grade. As a technique we will consider multilevel models (and possibly same Bayesian models) which is well suited for tasks like this.

I already excited to see whether individuals improve fast in bouldering than in rock climbing, or whether we can identify a limiting age before you have to start to become really good.

Please let me know what you are interested in! Which (readily available) factors should be considered in your view for such an analysis?

Part 1: How many years does it take to climb 7a or 5.11d?
Part 2: Progressing like Adam Ondra or Stefano Ghisolfi
Part 3: Progression differences between rock climbing and bouldering
Part 4: The role of age. Is there a critical period to start before to become a professional climber?


  1. Hey this is awesome. I started writing about stats this week ( and have already been thinking about going a bit further with it. What data are you pulling? the 8a bank?

    1. Nice. Thanks for sharing your blog post. Please keep me updated, looking forward to seeing more from you. Yes, I use the data published via Kaggle (same as you as it seems).

    2. yeah finally read the post where you said this! thanks man. Hey i was thinking of a cool project, maybe let me know if you have some time to work on finding the data. Basically it would involve using other outside data that would relate to these banks. My first thought was maybe weather!

      drop me a line if you want to share some ideas or start a shared notebook on kaggle / where ever. Hopefully your site shows my email.

    3. Sounds great, see my reply to your email :-)

  2. Thanks for sharing great post. Keep it post!

    Bouldering in Bangalore


Research article looking at climber ability and route difficulties by Dean Scarff

Dean Scarff made me kindly aware about his extremely interesting arXiv article Estimation of Climbing Route Difficulty usingWhole-History Ra...