Outdoor activities are potentially hazardous and carry a significant risk. They should only be undertaken with a full understanding of all inherent risks. These grades are guidelines that must always be used in conjunction with your own experience, intuition and careful judgment.
|Good track / path.
Flat or slightly inclined terrain, no risk of falling.
|Comfortable walking shoes.
|Path with continuous track bed.
Sometimes steep terrain, slight risk of rockfall / feet slipping.
Quality hiking shoes.
Difficult Mountain Hiking
|Paths not always visible, some exposed.
Partially exposed sections with risk of slipping/ gravel / unexpected changes in path and terrain.
|Previous experience and competent agility needed. High quality hiking boots are essential.
Basic to medium alpine experience needed.
|Paths not always available.
Terrain quite exposed, tricky grassy slopes, abrupt changes to paths.
|Confidence in exposed terrain, good, robust trekking shoes.
Previous alpine experience.
Due to weather changes can be difficult to retreat.
Difficult Alpine Hiking
|Varies between no tracks to grassy/easy climbs.
Exposed, challenging terrain, steep paths/ changing terrain/ glacier and snow fields routes with risks of slipping/falling.
Good alpine experience needed with some previous experience of pick and rope.
Very Difficult Alpine Hiking
Often very exposed, very steep terrain, with increased risk of slipping.
|Advanced alpine experience needed, confidence using alpine technical tools.
Source: Schweizer Alpen Club