Trip Grading


Conditions that may affect grading
Please remember that it is impossible to be absolutely precise about how hard a walk may be, as there may be many contributory factors. The main benefit of grading is to provide you with an overall indicator to compare one walk against another. We therefore look at the following 6 factors before deciding the grade:
– Length of trek and length of walking day.
– Average altitude and altitude gain and loss.
– Trail conditions.
– Level of porterage or backpacking.
– Temperature range and likely weather conditions.
– Remoteness to services and general level of comfort.
Clearly conditions for a particular holiday may vary from one month to the next. It is not practical for us to give grades for each individual departure, but you may like to take this into account before choosing a specific departure date.
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 one star grade. Usually, A star grade treks are short in duration and at lower altitudes. However, walking always involves some exertion: trails are seldom flat, and you must still expect to have a reasonable amount of ascent and descent. You would normally walk for 5 to 6 hours during the day.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Poon Hill trek/Langtang trek
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 two star 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. A walking day would normally be between 5 to 7 hours long and no experience is necessary.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Jomsom/ Muktinath/Gosainkunda/Annapurna Base camp
For any trek at this level, fitness is most important and you may have to improve yours before departure. Most three star grade treks are equivalent to extended walking in mountainous terrain at home, but usually at significantly higher altitudes; climate and remoteness can also play a part. Walking days are usually between 6 to 8 hours although there may be some longer days for pass-crossing or similar. Previous trekking experience is desirable but not essential if you are confident of your physical condition.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Annapurna Circuit/Kalapathar/Everest Base Camp
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, very high or difficult passes 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.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Trek crossing high passes like Apu laptsa, French pass, Tashi laptsa
To earn an E grade, a trek is likely to involve all the elements of five star grade plus extra factors of significant difficulty – tricky river crossings, very high or difficult passes, glaciers, or trekking peaks where basic climbing skills  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.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Trek combine with Trekking peak climbing or Trek crossing high passes like Serpeni col
Biking Grading
Trip Classification & Grading
Our mountain biking adventures are vehicle-supported wherever practicable. As well as enabling you to ride with only your usual day-ride gear, this also means that you can hitch a ride if you find the going too tough. Some of our more challenging trips include sections of unsupported riding, with the group meeting their crew and back-up vehicles at the next overnight halt. All trips will involve riding on rough tracks or dirt roads, escaping where possible “off road” onto rough jeep tracks and single track trails.
Easy, Moderate, Strenuous, Demanding  Factors affecting grading include: degree of up/down, difficulty of the surfaces to be ridden, amount of bike handling skill required, distances covered and other factors such as heat, altitude or remoteness. All our trips require basic fitness, preferably acquired through riding your bike, and please remember that any cycling involves some physical exertion, so you cannot expect that you will not feel tired on an ‘easy’ trip.
NB: Conditions for a particular holiday may vary from one month to the next. The main benefit of grading is to provide an overall indicator to compare one trip against another.
EASY   –   Suitable for anyone who can ride a bike and can manage a bit of exercise. No routes are 100% flat, so expect some climbs and descents.
Typical holidays at this grade:
Kathmandu valley day trip.
MODERATE   – suitable for keen mountain bikers, some quite tough days at low to moderate altitudes. A good mixture of terrain will provide the opportunity to develop single track riding experience
Typical holidays at this grade:
Ride from Pokhara to Kathmandu
STRENUOUS   – these trips provide a considerable challenge for the regular weekend mountain biker. Continuous hard riding, with long climbs at moderate to high altitudes
Typical holidays at this grade:
Hile to Dhankuta
DEMANDING   – our toughest bike trips, long days, big climbs and at times technically difficult single track riding at high altitudes. A real, sustained workout, even for fit and experienced mountain bikers
Typical holidays at this grade:
Lhasa to Kathmandu
Trekking Team  Nepal Climbing Grading
A number of our adventures include an element of climbing, usually on snow, where ropes and other items of mountaineering equipment will normally be used. These trips have each been given a trekking grade to reflect their overall difficulty and it is this grade which is shown on their grade symbol. Additionally, each of these trips has a climbing grade which is intended to indicate the technical difficulty of the ascent(s) involved and takes into account factors such as overall steepness, exposure and objective dangers.
EASY    – our easiest climbs, which are generally on easy angled snow-slopes, with no objective dangers. A mountaineering ice-axe and crampons may be used, depending on the prevailing conditions. Ropes may be fixed on short, steeper sections of ascent.
MODERATE    – elements such as crevasses and steep snow slopes may be encountered. A mountaineering ice-axe and crampons will be used. Ropes may be fixed on steeper sections of the climb and group members may need to climb roped together at times.
DEMANDING   – applied to our toughest climbs – involving long climbing days, possibly at extreme altitudes, with steep snow slopes, exposed ridges and crevassed sections.
TREKKING TEAM’S special collection of themed adventure journeys are all very different in nature, ranging from gentle family adventures to demanding mountaineering expeditions. However in order to give an indication of their overall level of difficulty these trips have each been given a trekking grade and it is this grade which is shown on their grade symbol.