How does the rating work?
The difficulty rating has a range of 1 to 5. With 5 being the most challenging.
We consider aspects of:
- Physical skills required, like coordination, dexterity, competency with footwork
- The type of mountain terrain. For example, glaciated, gently angled, steep, exposed, loose, etc.
- Relative aerobic fitness and stamina needed
- Technical aspects, like use of ropes
All our trips happen off the' beaten track'. They are not suitable for people with mobility challenges.
Average level of fitness needed - should be able to sustain 2 hours of walking, with plenty of rest breaks to enjoy the views. Low-angled hiking terrain with uneven sections of rock, snow, or ice .
Uphill hiking, with some steeper sections involving scrambling on loose rock (scree) and vegetation. Occasional use of hands for support. Requires a good sense of balance.
Good level of fitness - should be able to sustain 4-5 hours of walking over a day with a small backpack, and 2 or 3 breaks.
Trekking on uneven, more terrain with marked vertical gains and descents. Usually involves scrambling on loose rock/snow and vegetation. Hands are used to assist in some sections.
Some moderate exposure and the use of ropes is possible. May involve climbing on steep ice, using ropes for protection. Good balance and coordination required.
High level of fitness - should be able to sustain 6-7 hrs of hiking over a day wearing a medium backpack and be able use arms to assist in upward movement.
Steep uphill trekking and scrambling commonly on loose rock, snow and ice with sections of steep climbing on rock/snow - often involving the use of ropes and anchors for protection.
Moderate to high degree of exposure. Requires very good balance, concentration and confidence in movement. Potential for objective hazard.
High level of fitness - should be able to sustain a full day of uphill and downhill travel over very rough terrain with a large backpack.
Steep sustained technical climbing on rock or ice requiring the use of ropes and anchors. Exposure is common. High level of commitment required. Proven high level of fitness and prior mountaineering experience required.