Description of EWP trip grades

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Grading of Trips


Trip Grades

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Grading is to some extent subjective but we do try to obtain feedback from as many people as possible before grading a trip. The grades outlined below are just a rough guide and there may be a degree of overlap between grades. It is essential to read the trip description fully for details and if necessary contact us for more information. Various factors may alter the difficulty of a route such as: heavy rain, unusual snow conditions, streams in spate, rock falls or landslides, vegetation encroachment, path closures etc.

Support with luggage carrying is a separate issue. F (full support) means only daypacks need be carried with items such as waterproofs, lunch, walking poles, crampons (as required). If your other luggage is being carried by porters or on horseback it is important to pack it neatly into a waterproof stuff sack or similar. P (part support) means that communal items such as tents, food and cooking equipment will be carried by porters, mules, horses or vehicles. Personal items such as a sleeping bag, or change of clothes, are carried by you.


A easy paths Easy-angled, well-defined, little exposure, no serious obstacles involving the use of hands, 4-6 hours walking per day
B long days, steep rough paths, These involve mainly walking on reasonable paths but will involve some of the following: paths on steep hillsides, crossing easy snow or scree slopes, boulderfields, thick vegetation, steep and slippery sections, easy scrambling, river crossings, long days.
C mountain walking/scrambling 
Mountain trails and paths that could involve scrambling but generally are tackled unroped. Although snow slopes and glaciers may be encountered generally these do not require any technical equipment.
D ice axe and crampons required,  Some glacier crossings and easy rock climbing could be involved. Short sections of steeper snow and some ice may be encountered. A familiarity with the use of crampons is essential. Ropes may be used where deemed necessary by the guide.
E technical mountaineering Generally this involves roped climbing. Good mountaineering skills are essential (rope handling, snow craft etc).

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ALW 09/09/04