Grade 1: Easy, Easy plus
These are the easiest of our Himalayan treks, but still involve walking up and down hills, though on well-defines trails and with trekking days that rarely exceed 5 to 6 hours, or more than 10 kilometers per day. Altitudes will not exceed more than 3,000 meters. All easy programmes involve a maximum of one week’s camping.
Grade 2: Moderate-Moderate plus
Trekking may involve walking up to 7 hours, occasionally more on moderate plus’, traveling between 8 to 9 kilometers, over hilly terrain, on well-defined trails. Altitude will exceed 3,000m and sometimes reach over 5,000m. These trips involve camping/lodge stays of up to two weeks.
Grade 3: Challenging
Physical preparation is essential as you will be walking up to 8 hours per day, sometimes on small tracks. Altitudes will often exceed 4,000 meters, with some days spent trekking above 5,000 meters. These trips involve camping for up to three weeks and sometimes longer.
Grade 4: Mountaineering
These are challenging treks which include basic mountaineering above the snow line, using ice axe, crampons and ropes, under supervision and instruction from the trek leader. These trips require a high level of psychological and physical stamina. Prior trekking experience is certainly an advantage, though not essential.
Grade 1: Easy not very strenuous - Probably within the capability of most healthy people.
Walking on low angle snow or straightforward scrambling on rocks. Ropes would not normally be required and previous climbing experience not essential - Good basic fitness needed, as required for hill walking or Munro bagging type activities.
Grade 2: Moderately strenuous - May involve several hours of hill walking possibly at altitude.
Ropes would be used for glacier travel and/or low angle snow or ice slopes. Climbing experience would be preferred, but not absolutely essential - Good degree of physical fitness which might require some training perhaps running, mountain biking or hiking.
Grade 3: Strenuous - Will involve many hours of steep hillwalking or scrambling possibly at altitude.
Short, steepish sections of snow or ice up to 45 or 50 degrees. Previous snow and ice climbing experience is required - A high level of physical fitness together with the ability to carry a heavy rucksack for long periods of time on mixed ground.
Grade 4: Very Strenuous - Expedition type stresses should be expected. Long hours of very steep scrambling/walking at high altitude.
Long, steep snow and ice slopes with steps of very steep ice possibly mixed with low to mid grade rock climbing. A good degree of all-round climbing ability and experience required - Climbs at this grade are exceptionally strenuous and a high degree of fitness is needed.
Grade 5: Extremely Strenuous - Expedition type stresses should be expected. Long hours of very steep climbing at high altitude. Previous High Altitude experience is mandatory.
Steep ice climbing possibly Scottish III/IV or above with rock climbing of HS, Alpine grade Difficile Plus. This grade suitable only for competent mountaineers climbing regularly at this standard or above - This requires hard physical effort often at extreme altitude in difficult conditions. A high degree of physical conditioning and training would normally be essential.