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Difficulty Ratings Explained

Difficulty Ratings Explained

In order for you to make the most of your trip, please read this guide to understanding our difficulty ratings system.

MM Difficulty Description

1 Star

1 Star

Previous trekking experience is not required.

You should have an average level of fitness and be able to walk in the hills carrying a light rucksack for at least 6 hours.  The terrain will generally be fairly easy going.

2 Star

2 Star

Previous trekking experience is not required although you should have some hill walking experience.

You should have an average level of cardio-vascular fitness and might want to consider training prior to this trip.  Suitable training will include running, gym work and/or hill walking sessions.  A typical trek at this level will include trekking for 4 to 6 hours per day over consecutive days possibly at high altitude.  The terrain will be varied and it may occasionally be rocky.  There may be patches of snow depending on time of year.

3 Star

3 Star

Ideally you will have trekked before and have a good level of fitness.

  You should engage in regular training such as running, gym work and sessions out hill walking prior to these trips.  Trips at this level require greater endurance and will include tough multi-day trekking (expect to be walking for up to 8 hours per day carrying a moderately heavy rucksack) at high altitude.  The terrain will be rough and varied and occasionally challenging and it may include sections of snow and ice which will require the use of crampons and ice axes.

4 Star

4 Star

Previous trekking experience is essential as is a high level of physical fitness.

You will have a regular training programme lasting for at least 4 months which includes running, gym work and hill sessions prior to departing on a trip at this level.  Strenuous multi-day trekking at high altitude with long days whilst carrying a full rucksack.  The terrain may include sections that require scrambling, high passes and glaciated sections requiring the use of ice axe and crampons.

5 Star

5 Star

These are our toughest treks.

These are our toughest treks.  You will have plenty of previous experience and a high level of fitness and endurance.  Training prior to departure is essential and will be part of your normal daily routine.  Long multi-day trekking at high altitude whilst carrying a full rucksack.  The terrain may include steep scrambling, crossing high passes and glaciers.  Competent use of ice axe and crampons is essential.

MM Technical Description

1 Star

1 Star

Specific technical skills are not required

You should have a good head for heights and will be comfortable using your hands for balance and to scramble up short rocky sections.

2 Star

2 Star

Trips at this grade may involve the use of ropes to protect short sections of steep ground/snow/ice.

Crampons and ice axe maybe required.  All technical skills will be taught as required.

3 Star

3 Star

Trips at this grade will most likely include harder scrambling and/or easy climbing (up to VDiff, Scottish Winter grade II or Alpine PD).

You should have basic climbing skills and be familiar with wearing a harness and basic rope work. You will be familiar with the use of ice axe and crampons.

4 Star

4 Star

Trips at this level may include short sections of hard technical climbing.

You will be a competent climber able to lead or second up to VS, Scottish Winter grade II or Alpine AD.  You will be skilled with the use of ice axe and crampons and have glacier crossing experience.  

5 Star

5 Star

This is our highest level of technical difficulty.

You will be a competent all round climber capable of climbing beyond VS, Scottish Winter grade III and Alpine AD.  Trips at this level will include sustained periods of hard technical climbing.