Difficulty Grading System

Why we use the grading system

Travelling on foot in mountains and hilly terrain is better measured in hours than in distance as the steepness of the terrain and the altitude and quality of the path define how fast – or slow – you can travel. In most walking or hiking programs it simply does not make sense to measure difficulty by distance. This is why we use walking hours instead.

Please note that the walking hours mentioned in our grading system are only indicative. There can be longer walking hours than mentioned if the terrain is more demanding on a particular day.

Grade: Very Easy

Very easy hikes, which anyone in good health can manage. Short walks of 2-4 hours a day. The paths are in good condition and mainly flat, and luggage is transported. Requires no special equipment.

Grade: Easy

Easy walking at reasonably good paths. The walking time will be 4-6 hours usually in hilly terrain. Everyone in good health and normal physical fitness can participate. Luggage is mostly transported and you only go with a lighter backpack. Requires good footwear such as trekking shoes or hiking boots.

Grade: Medium

Walking in hilly or mountainous terrain with longer ascents and descents. You will walk 5-7 hours a day. Requires good fitness and good health, but no technical experience. Requires good footwear such as trekking or hiking boots.

Grade: Hard

Hiking daily walks of 6-8 hours, often in difficult terrain and higher altitude. There will be longer ascents and descents. Requires endurance and strong knees and ankles. Requires good hiking boots and “outdoor” clothing. There will be major fluctuations in temperatures.

Grade: Extreme

Longer treks of several weeks, involving sleeping in tents and with daily walks of 6-8 hours in demanding terrain. There can be longer climbs over high passes in altitudes around 5.000 meters/17.000 feet. Requires good fitness and endurance ability. Previous trekking experience is recommended. Requires good hiking boots and regular outdoor clothing. There will be major fluctuations in temperatures.