TallGrass wrote:rickinco123 wrote:If all hand and footholds are positive, and it is not overhanging, it is 4th.
I would strongly disagree.
"Class 4: Simple climbing, with exposure. A rope is often used. Natural protection can be easily found. Falls may well be fatal.
Class 5: Technical free climbing involving rope, belaying, and other protection hardware for safety. Un-roped falls can result in severe injury or death."
There are also many 5.9 routes on climbing walls where it's all positive holds and no overhang but they are far from simple class 4 climbing. Same place has routes where holds are smaller than one-square-inch or look little more than mashed potatoes thrown on the wall (no chives). Spacing is also a factor, like if you have to dyno to the next hold even if positive and not overhanging.
5.9 gym routes are nothing like 5.9 rock routes. The definition of "positive" in the context of climbing holds is also extremely relative. Class 4 holds are all monster jugs where you can easily support your entire body weight with a single hold.
But to take things on a slight tangent, I think fretting over the difference between class 3 or class 4 does the target audience a disservice. Class 4 climbing is not physically difficult. The movement is very intuitive and natural and any reasonably fit person possesses the requisite skills to climb it with little to no experience. The real challenge in class 3 or 4 is proper routefinding to keep the difficulty low and the mental fortitude to commit to high-consequence moves. If you were to remove those challenges by giving people a 6 foot high rubble pile in a parking lot, almost everyone would cruise to the top without blinking. Worrying about the precise difficulty of scrambling routes puts emphasis on the wrong details. Develop your routefinding skills and comfort with exposure and it wont matter.