To enable you to get a better understanding of what may be encountered on an Adventure Consultants trip we have developed a grading system that quantifies the technical nature and physical output level of each trip.
Terrain guidelines and technical requirements
1 - Scrambling on low angled terrain of a low technical nature, on snow or rock. Ropes may occasionally be used. Climbers do not need previous experience but do need an ability to move over rough ground.
2 - Short steep sections that will require a rope. Basic snow/ice/rock climbing. We recommend that climbers are familiar with ice axe and crampon techniques and/or basic rock climbing techniques although this can often be taught during the trip.
3 - Steep terrain that requires moderate level climbing skills on snow/ice/rock. Emphasis on good cramponing skills. Will need experience with rope techniques including rappelling/abseiling and snow camping techniques.
4 - Extensive steep terrain. Climber to be capable of following multi pitch climbs and have rope management skills, belay techniques, climbing calls, rappelling/abseiling skills and alpine bivouac and snow camping techniques.
5 - Extreme terrain. Climber will have extensive experience on rock or ice and a complete understanding of anchors and protection techniques and a high degree of comfort following longer difficult sections of ice and/or rock in alpine gear with a pack.
Fitness and stamina
A - A level of fitness sufficient to carry a light pack (10kg/22lb) and be capable of moving for several hours at a stretch with short stops every hour. Training would include regular walking on hills and gym work to develop strength: light running, swimming and biking.
B - Defined as one who exercises regularly although not necessarily to a really high level, capable of carrying a pack weighing 18kg/40lb for several hours. Regular cardiovascular exercise (3-4 times a week gym/bike/stairs) and include pack carrying on rough ground once a week.
C - A high standard of fitness. Capable of climbing with a heavy pack (25kg/55lb) for extended periods in mountain conditions. High level of training specific to climbing that would include heavy pack carrying over rough terrain and other preparation such as regular gym/pool/bike training.
D - Excellent level of fitness from participants who would have an ongoing commitment to training and maintaining fitness specific to climbing. Expect long days in extreme conditions. Preparation would include heavy pack carrying, specific conditioning through rock and/or ice climbing and habitual cardio vascular exercise.
Read about Climbing Grade Comparisons internationally.