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Details of Difficulty Levels

TREKKING GRADES

Below are definitions of trekking grades to give you an idea of how physically involving a particular trek is. Trips are scaled according to the closest match to one of the following grades.  So, please take it as a guide only.

 

1.     EASY

  • can be enjoyed by anyone who leads a reasonably active lifestyle;
  • starting point at low altitude (below 2000m, usually starting at around 1200m);
  • highest point reached is usually around 1500m;
  • not affected by drastic or severe weather conditions;
  • no noticeable symptoms of altitude sickness;
  • ascents/descents are normally less than 500m per day;
  • average walking per day is 4 hours, not exceeding 6 hours any day;
  • treks usually last less than 6 days of walking;
  • trails are easy to walk compared to trails of higher trekking grades.

 

2.     MODERATE

  • require a higher level of physical fitness;
  • starting point at low altitude (below 2000m);
  • highest point reached is normally bellow 4500m;
  • can be affected by weather conditions (cold, wind, rain);
  • ascents/descents can be more than 500m and up to 1500m;
  • average walking per day is 6 hours, and up to 8 hours;
  • treks usually last less than 12 days of walking;
  • trails are at times moderately difficult but without trekking at high passes;
  • effects of altitude can be felt towards the end of the trek. Some level of acclimatisation may be required.

 

3.     CHALLENGING

  • requires a high level of physical fitness and stamina;
  • starting point can either be at a low altitude or high up around 2000m;
  • highest point reaches 5000m ( sometimes a bit over that);
  • drastic weather conditions;
  • spending at least one night close to or above 5000m;
  • average walking per day is 7 hours;
  • treks usually last less than 18 days walking;
  • trails may include high passes, remote areas and difficult tracks;
  • effects of altitude can be felt. Acclimatization is required.    

 

4.     CHALLENGING PLUS

  • requires extremely high level of physical fitness and expertise;
  • highest point reaching above 5000m, for which you should be capable of trekking normally at an altitude of 4000-5000m and through high passes;
  • extreme weather conditions (can be sub zero temps);
  • average walking per day is 7 hours;
  • strenuous and testing conditions;
  • effects of altitude will be felt and acclimatisation is required;
  • trails will go through high passes, remote areas and difficult tracks;
  • lack of local lodges and home-stay facilities which will require camping arrangement during the trek;
  • lack of access to showering; often for days on end.  Traditional bucket style wash offered on camping trek.

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