Grading

Our treks/climbs require different levels of fitness and experience.

We use a two-tiered grading system to give you an overall level of technical difficulty and fitness required for our trekking and mountaineering trips. A number will indicate the technical difficulty and a letter will indicate the level of fitness required.

Technical Difficulty

GradeDescription
1Hiking or scrambling using established hiking routes. No trekking experience is required.
2Hiking or scrambling using established hiking routes that may include moderate to steep rock scrambles or scree and snow. Good to have trekking experience.
3Ropes may be used principally for glacier travel, low angle snow or short section of ice slopes up to 50degrees. Previous climbing experience with use of crampon and ice axe is desirable but not essential.
4Long, steep snow and ice slopes with short steps of very steep scrambling on rocks. Previous climbing experience with use of crampon and ice axe, rope-up, self-arrest techniques is essential.
5Very steep ice or rock and require mountaineering skills (rope skills, crampons and self-arrest etc). Suitable for competent mountaineers who have climbed consistently at these standards.

Fitness Requirement

LevelDescription
AModerate fitness is required. You should be able to hike up to 1000m or 5-8 hours, carrying a daypack of average weight between 3-5kg, without undue difficulty.
BGood fitness is essential. You should be able to hike for up to a week, without undue difficulty, carrying a daypack weighing between 5-6kg in undulating mountain terrain with an elevation between 1000-4000m.
CAbove average fitness is essential. You should be able to hike up to 10 hours daily and/or for more than a week, carrying a backpack weighing between 6-8kg, in undulating mountain terrain with an elevation up to 6000m.
D A high level of all round fitness, endurance and strength will be required. Climbs of this grade are exceptionally strenuous, usually in extreme altitude and/or mountainous environment above 6000m. Average backpack weighs between 8-10kg. Some climbs may require load ferrying up to 12kg or more.
EAn extremely high level of fitness, endurance, strength and physical conditioning is vital. You will be exposed to extreme weather conditions over extended periods of time. Hard physical effort at extreme altitude. Comments for 'D' also apply. This grade of climb can entail long days of 10-16 hours or more. You may also be climbing at altitudes of above 4000m most of the days and climb above 6000m.