Giving a walk a grade is a very subjective exercise and depends on the standards of the person doing setting the standards. Therefore the grades used through this website can best be described as comparative and are graded as follows -
The grade awarded depends on an accumulative assessment based on five main criteria -
Terrain covered by the route. Low level walks that can be completed on good paths will be graded easy whilst those including pathless sections and/or difficult terrain will be graded hard.
Total height gain in the walk. Thus a walk with a large ascent will be graded higher than a level walk. In addition significant descents will also be used to judge difficulty.
Total distance covered by the route. The longer the walk the harder the grade.
Equipment required to safely complete the route. Easy routes can normally be completed with minimal equipment. However before attempting any route you should assess the safe level of equipment that needs to be carried taking into account weather and route difficulty. Where addition equipment is required to complete a route then details will be given.
Navigation and compass skills required.
The grades are all based on the assumption the route can be completed in reasonable weather conditions. For example low cloud can cause problems on some mountain routes with map reading and compass skills essential. Heavy rain can cause rivers and streams to become too deep or dangerous to cross. Under ice and/or snow some routes may become impassable to walkers unless they are competent in the use of ice axe and crampons. High winds may make some ridges and mountain areas dangerous. Thunder storms put walkers at risk especially on high land. Finally remember combinations of adverse weather increase the risks substantially.
These walks have been published free of charge for use by site visitors on the understanding that Walking Switzerland is not held responsible for the safety or well being of those following the routes as described.
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