DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY OF HIKING AND MOUNTAINING ROUTES
A mountain hike can be very easy for an experienced hiker but can be very difficult for a beginner. The Degree of Difficulty of a hiking or mountaineering route tries to evaluate a route, based on some of its objective characteristics, such as the total altitude difference, if mountaineering equipment is required, if there is snow, how many hours of walking are required, etc.
Most mountaineering and hiking clubs have now adopted a unified route evaluation system, according to the table below. The uniform use of the table facilitates the correct information of the members, the proper preparation and selection of the equipment but also what to expect before each trip or climb.
There is a chance to see the + symbol next to the Degree of Difficulty (eg 2+, 3+, etc.). This is done when there are climbing passages, exposed ridges, gutters, or snow / ice slopes of 40 ° and above. Participating in such routes requires very good physical condition and experience in the mountainous field. Winter ascents also require knowledge of basic companion insurance with technical means (ropes, carabiner, etc.).
Detailed description of degrees of difficulty
1: Easy hiking lasting up to about 6 hours, with a small altitude difference (does not exceed 400-500m.) Suitable for beginners (where there is 1+ then the route contains a short duration of difficulty, without excluding beginners).
2: Hiking up to about 8 hours, with an altitude difference of up to about 1,000 meters. It may include sections that need attention (technical passages) or off-track sections. (Beginners with very good physical condition are allowed)
3: Ascents lasting more than 8 hours, with an altitude difference of more than 1000 meters or multi-day ascents. It may include sections with difficulty (UIAA Grade II & III climbing passages) and use of fuses.
4: Ascents lasting more than 8 hours, with an altitude difference of more than 1,000 meters or multi-day ascents – crossings. It may include sections with local difficulty (UIAA Grade II & III climbing passages), transportation of personal overnight equipment and / or use of fuses.
5: Easy mountaineering lasting up to about 8 hours, with a small altitude difference in a snowy or partially snowy field. Necessary winter mountain equipment (ax, crampons, etc.)
6: Mountaineering of moderate difficulty with an altitude difference of more than 1000 meters in a snowy or partially snowy field. Necessary winter mountain equipment (ax, crampons, etc.). May include parts that need attention (technical passages).
7: Difficult long-distance mountaineering route in snowy or partly snowy field. Necessary winter mountain equipment (ax, crampons, etc.) may include use of fuses, transportation of overnight equipment and crossings. Requires mountaineering experience, excellent use of technical equipment and very good physical condition.