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Sunday, 3 March 2019

Picking the right trail for you

We want you to choose the most appropriate trek for your ability and interest, and a lot of this will be based on the trail. Every trip organised by us has been given a grade based on the expected level of difficulty in order to help you select a suitable trip. We have six levels of grading for our trips: Easy, Gentle, Moderate, Demanding, Strenuous and Challenging.  More information on the grading of our treks is on our website.

This grading system is helpful but does not always provide the level of detail required to get an accurate portrayal of the trek. We have therefore set up a classification system for the trails made up of 8 description categories. This classification system is slowly being rolled out through our new Trip Dossiers.

We have split the trail sections into lower altitude (below 3,000m), higher altitude (above 3,000m) and high altitude passes (over 4,000m). The type of trail within each of these categories is then split further depending on type of trail, exposure and ascent/descent profile.

The descriptions are an indication of what you might encounter and it is important that you assess your personal capabilities based on the terrain you are comfortable trekking through.

Lower altitude (below 3000m)
Undulating clear trails through forests, villages or gorges.  There may be some bridge crossings and some short steeper sections.
Longer steep sections (ascent or descent) on well defined trails.  There may be some exposed sections of trail.

Higher altitude (above 3000m)

Gently undulating clear trails through forests villages or gorges.
Long steep ascent or descent.  There may be some exposed sections of trail and rocky terrain with a less defined trail.
Glacial Moraine - generally rocky under foot but with some icy patches.  Significant up and down.

High Altitude Pass (above 4000m)
This is a simple pass crossing with clear trails.   It may take up to 4 hours to get to the top of the pass.
This is a more challenging pass with a steep ascent or descent.  There may be some exposed sections of trail and rocky terrain without a well defined trail.  There may be snow on the trail and microspikes could be required.
This is a technical pass or climb.  Either crampons, ropes or technical skills will be required.

Examples of trail overviews
K2 Base Camp and Concordia Trail Overview

Naar to Upper Mustang GHT Trail Overview

Everest Base Camp Trail Overview

Upper Dolpo to Jomson Trail Overview

Where will your next trail take you?

Jo Clark
Operations Manager

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