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Trek gradings

Trek grades explained
The term trekking is traditionally applied to overland journeys made on foot, often involving the support of a trekking crew to carry personal belongings, along with any tents, food and cooking equipment that may be required. Over time, this notion of trekking has evolved and now encompasses everything from extended trips into true wilderness areas, to shorter trips, staying in guest houses and hotels and involving a series of day-walks. The following grades should therefore be read in conjunction with each individual trip description.

Suitable for most people in good health, these trips include only a short element of trekking which is always on good paths and predominantly at low altitudes.

Suitable for most trekkers, involving relatively short days, on paths, tracks or glaciers. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required as these treks can involve considerable amounts of ascent and descent and the occasional difficult day.

Physically very challenging but suitable for regular trekkers who are used to extended days and are competent over difficult terrain. These treks may also involve lengthy periods at high altitudes.

The most difficult grade of trek, involving many long days, often in isolated areas and usually at extreme altitudes. These treks might also include difficult pass crossings, use of ropes and require basic mountaineering skills and equipment. A good standard of fitness and previous trekking experience is essential.

Climbing Grades explained
The climbing itineraries provided are for trekking peaks of low technical difficulty, generally alpine grade AD- or less. However the difficulty of a given route can vary depending on conditions. In general, these peaks provide an ideal introduction to climbing at very high altitudes for those already proficient, or those with modest technical climbing skills. Safety is always paramount on such trips and fixed ropes will be placed for tricky / exposed sections.

Trekking Peak itineraries are given a climbing grade which is intended to indicate the technical difficulty of the ascent(s) involved and takes into account factors such as overall steepness, exposure and objective dangers. An overall grade for the trek approach is also provided in the trip description.

Generally on easy angled snow-slopes, with no objective dangers. A mountaineering ice-axe and crampons may be used, depending on the prevailing conditions. Ropes may be fixed on short, steeper sections of ascent. 

Experience - winter walking, experienced trekking, previous climbing experience is not essential.

Climbing elements such as crevasses and steep snow slopes may be encountered. A mountaineering ice-axe and crampons will be used. Ropes may be fixed on steeper sections of the climb and group members may need to climb roped together at times.

Experience -Climbing experience is preferred, but not usually essential. Use of ice axe, crampons, ropes.

These peaks involve long climbing days, possibly at extreme altitudes, with steep snow slopes, exposed ridges and crevassed sections. Fixed ropes will be essential.

Experience - Previous alpine climbing experience is essential (Grade PD minimum)

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