Alpitrekking Difficulty ratings relative to the trips
HIKING DIFFICULTY SCALE
Below the scale of assessment of the hiking difficulties expressed according to the latest directives of the CAI (Italian Alpine Club), with regard to hiking.
Italian Alpine Club classifies hiking trails as follows:
T = Tourist
Itineraries on narrow streets, mule tracks or with well-evident paths that do not pose uncertainties or problems of orientation. They generally take place under the 2000 m and usually constitute access to alpine pastures or shelters. They require some knowledge of the mountain environment and a physical preparation to walk.
E = Hiking
Hikes have moderate slopes and generally solid trail tread. They are often well maintained: walkers find cairns (a cairn is an artificial pile of stones erected as landmarks) or signs painted on rocks or trees to indicate the right way. Exposed strokes are usually protected (barriers) or insured (cables). There may be single passages on rock but generally they are short and not tiring (thanks to equipmentÂ such as ladders, pegs, cables). Other specific equipment is not required (harness, carabiner, etc.). They require a certain sense of orientation, as well as some experience and knowledge of the mountainous territory, training on walking, as well as footwear and adequate equipment.
EE = for experienced hikers
Trails are often marked but orienteering skills are actually required: routes usually encounter slippery grassy slopes, short sections of scree (small loose rocks on average angle slopes). Rock outcrops can usually be negotiated without the use of hands, but sometimes hikers could have to climb short rock bands requiring use of hands. Scrambling does not usually require specialized climbing equipment or skills, but hikers can meet with short and easy equipped stretches of trail. Alpine experience, firm and steady step are required. Hikers may also be exposed to heights and have to be trained for a whole day walk.
EEA - skilled and equipped hikers
Mountain routes which are equipped with fixed cables, ladders, and bridges. The use of these aids allows otherwise isolated routes to be joined to create longer routes which are accessible to people with a wide range of climbing abilities. Walkers and climbers can follow via ferrata with no need to use their own ropes and belays, and without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing (via ferrata).
EEA = for experienced hikers with equipment
Equipped paths or Vie ferrate for which it is necessary to use self-assurance devices (harness, heatsink, carabiners, lanyards) and personal protective equipment (helmet, gloves)
Vie Ferrate Classification
EEA-F (Easy one)
A little exposed and undemanding path with long stretches of road. Very protected track, with good signals, where the metallic structures are limited to the only cable or chain fixed only to improve the safety.
EEA-PD (a little bit difficult)
With a limited and poorly exposed development. The track is usually articulated with canals, fireplaces and some short vertical section, facilitated by frames such as chains, cables, pegs or even metallic ladders
EEA-D (difficult one)
A certain development that requires good physical preparation and good technique. The track is often vertical and in some cases exceeds even some short overhang, very articulated, with long stretches of exposure; Equipped with wire ropes and/or chains, pegs and/or metal ladders.
HIKING SNOW-COVERED ENVIRONMENT/SNOWSHOESÂ
EAI = Hiking in a snowy environment
Itineraries in a snowy environment requiring the use of snowshoes, with obvious and recognizable paths, with easy access routes, with differences and difficulties reduced to minimum (in order to guarantee safety of practicability).
Source:Â Â Central Committee for hiking-CAI
In addition to the CAI classification, the reports on our snowshoe trips specify the scale of difficulty expressed by the CAS (Swiss Alpine Club).
The grades from WT4 to WT6 are to be undertaken if you have adequate physical and technical preparation, as there are passages on glacier and/or rocks with mountaineering difficulties and in any case are kind of paths allowed only to experienced mountaineers or hikers accompanied by Alpine guides or instructors entitled by the CAI.
The assessment of the difficulties of the following scale does not take into account the length of the route. For all the excursions you need a good knowledge of the means of orientation (map, compass, altimeter or GPS) and of choice of the itinerary. These requirements together with the seriousness of the excursion increase proportionally to the degree of difficulty. Moreover, it is always recommended (except for the WT1 degree) to equip itself with the appropriate avalanche rescue system, shovel and probe. The degrees of difficulty are indicative, are valid in conditions of snow, weather and good visibility, and only for the stretches with snowshoes.
Rating for the difficulties of snowshoe tours
WT1 Easy snowshoe hikes
Grounds < 25Â°. Generally flat or not steep. No scarps in the close vicinity. Danger: No danger of avalanches no danger of slipping or falling Requirements: no knowledge of avalanches necessary
WT2 Snowshoe hikes
Grounds < 25Â°. Generally flat or not steep. Scarps are present in the close vicinity Danger: Danger of avalanches no danger of slipping or falling Requirements: Basic knowledge of assessing the danger of avalanches
WT3 Challenging snowshoe hikes
Grounds < 30Â°. Generally not steep to moderately steep. Short steep sections (steeper than the generally indicated steepness) Danger: Danger of avalanches, almost no danger of slipping. Short, sliding areas which end gently Requirements: Basic knowledge of assessing the danger of avalanches
WT4 Snowshoe tours
Grounds < 30Â°. Moderately steep. Short steeper sections (steeper than the generally indicated steepness) and/or slope traverses. Partially interspersed with rocks. Glaciers with few crevasses Danger: Danger of avalanches. Danger of sliding and risk of injury. Moderate danger of falling Requirements: Good knowledge of assessing the danger of avalanches. Good snowshoe technique. Basic knowledge about alpinism
WT5 Alpine snowshoe tours
Grounds < 35Â°. Steep. Short steeper sections (steeper than the generally indicated steepness) and/or slope traverses and/or rock sections. Glaciers Danger: Danger of avalanches. Danger of falling. Danger of falling into crevasses. Alpine danger. Requirements: Good knowledge of assessing the danger of avalanches. Good knowledge about alpinism. Safe walking with snowshoes
WT6 Challenging snowshoe tours
Grounds >35Â°. Very steep. Challenging sections and/or slope traverses and/or rock sections. Glaciers with a lot of crevasses Danger: Danger of avalanches. Danger of falling. Danger of falling into crevasses. Alpine danger Requirements: Good knowledge of assessing the danger of avalanches. Very good knowledge about alpinism. Safe walking in sections with rocks and ice