What makes a good climber?

Rock climbing is a complex sport and there are clearly many factors that impact our performance. Which are the most important, and what can we train to improve our sport climbing or bouldering grade?

Small climbers will complain that it is height, heavy climbers, weight. Others point to flawless technique and mental strength. But which are really the most important? There have been many studies done on the subject, some scientific, some less so.

The best that I have found is one by Magiera et al(1) who proposed that climbing ability is governed by three factors; physical, mental and technical, in roughly equal proportions. In a study of Polish rock climbers who climbed 7a to 8c, forty three attributes were considered to see which had the most significant correlation with the climbers’ redpoint and on-sight ability. A full list of the factors considered can be found below.