Altitude around 3,000 meters and 3-5 hours walking per day Experience is not necessary at this level: anyone who is in good health and fit enough to enjoy a good weekend hill walk can manage this trek. However, walking always involves some exertion: trails are seldom flat, and you must still expect to have a reasonable amount of ascent and descent.
Altitude around 4,000 meters And 4-6 hours walking per day Most people who enjoy a weekend in the hills or mountains at home are capable of undertaking a trek at this level: you need to be in good health and reasonably fit, and you will almost certainly be taking regular exercise. A trek could be graded “B” either as a fairly easy medium-duration walk, or as a harder, shorter walk. Some walking at higher altitude and the occasional longer or more difficult day may be involved, but generally conditions underfoot will be fair.
Altitude around 4,500 meters And 5-7 hours walking per day For any trek at this level, fitness is most important and you may have to improve yours before departure. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not essential if you are confident of your physical condition.
Altitude, climate and remoteness play a part in the grading.
Altitude around 5000 meters and 6-9 hours walking per day At this level we recommend previous experience of trekking, preferably at altitude, and you need complete confidence in your physical condition and your ability to trek for many days without a break and be able to cope with difficult underfoot terrain such as scree, snow or difficult paths on steep mountainsides. Extremes of altitude and weather may also be encountered, and on some treks it may be necessary to use ice axe and crampons. Stamina is very important, as walking days can be from 6 to 9 hours or even longer on pass-crossing days.
Altitude around 6000m and 7-12 hours walking per day To earn an “E” grade, a trek is likely to involve all the elements of a “D” grade plus extra factors of significant difficulty – tricky river crossings, very high or difficult passes, glaciers, or trekking peaks where basic climbing skills may be required. Often some special equipment such as ice axe and crampons will be needed and if so we require you to have experience of them. While normally walking for 7 to 9 hours a day, you should be prepared for up to 11 hours, or on some climbs even longer