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Expedition Grades

 

 

Grading a trek or expedition is very subjective – after all, one man’s hill is another man’s mountain!

 

We would rather talk and chat over experience or how suitable and enjoyable a trip will be with regard to your experience and aspirations. But, for your reference, we have added a basic framework to give you an idea of the trip grade and experience needed for each trip.

 

We have graded our treks and expeditions in 5 “Exped Grades”.

 

Grade one

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Means ‘Great first Experience’. No previous experience is needed.

 

Grade two

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Means ‘Some previous experience needed’. This experience doesn’t have to be international. Experience throughout the UK can be just as transferable as a trek internationally.

 

Grade Three 

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Means ‘Basic summer techniques must be at a good standard’. Normally at grade three level there is a new skill or environment that requires a firm foundation in the summer skills to allow you to concentrate on the new techniques.

 

Grade Four

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Means ‘Basic summer and winter techniques must be at a good standard’. At grade four, either there is advanced skills needed or the trek or expedition is requiring people to operate at a high standard as soon as they step off the plane. Example being on our Hardangervidda crossing when you step off the train you are pulling a pulk, covering 25km’s a day, in a very remote and wild environment.

 

Grade Five

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Means ‘Advanced knowledge in the summer and winter environment is essential’ These trips are either very technical i.e rock climbing and advanced scrambling, very high altitude which would require a CV of previous high altitude experience, or very remote and in an extreme environment.

 

Please read the detailed trip notes to understand exactly what the trek involves. If you have any concerns then please do call and speak to us.

Grading Systems

Within may of our trips we use specialised grading systems which have been developed and standardised in addition to our above grading system.  We use various grading systems which suit our trips best, these are details below:

Hiking & Trekking Grades

The Swiss Alpine Club have developed what we feel is the best grading system for trekking and hiking, you will find some of our trips use this system.

T1 – Hike

Trail: Well marked

Terrain: Flat or gentle Slopes

Dangers: No risk of falls

Requirements: None, no navigation issues, possible without a map

Equipment: Possible in trainers

T2 – Mountain Hike

Trail: Continuous trail 

Terrain: Sometimes steep

Dangers: Small risk of falling

Requirements: Surefooted, basic navigational skills 

Equipment: Hiking boots recommended

T3 – Demanding Mountain Hike

Trail: Trails obscure in places

Terrain: Exposed sections may be equipped with ropes or chains. Hands sometimes required for balance.

Dangers: Some sections exposed, with the risk of falling; unmarked route through scree

Requirements: Very surefooted, average navigational skills required, basic mountaineering experience 

Equipment: Hiking boots required

T4 – Alpine Hike

Trail: Trail missing in places

Terrain: Substantial exposure: grassy slopes, steep scree, snowfields and easy glacier crossings not covered by snow. Hands sometimes necessary to progress. 

Dangers: Retreat difficult in bad weather.

Requirements: Familiarity with exposed terrain. Good navigational skills and some ability to evaluate terrain. Alpine experience.

Equipment: Rigid hiking boots recommended.

T5 – Demanding Alpine Hike

Trail: Often no trail at all.

Terrain: Exposed, demanding steep scree. Glaciers and snowfields. Some sections of easy technical climbing.

Dangers: Risk of sliding.

Requirements: Very good navigation skills and a solid ability to evaluate terrain. Good alpine experience.

Equipment: Mountaineering boots, basic ice axe, and basic rope techniques. 

T6 – Difficult Alpine Hike

Trail: Mostly off-trail travel

Terrain: Exposed, demanding steep scree. Glaciers and snowfields. Some sections of easy technical climbing. 

Dangers: Heightened risk of sliding.

Requirements: Excellent navigational skills. Substantial alpine experience. 

Equipment: Comfortable with the use of mountaineering equipment. 

 

 

 

 

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