Difficulty Info

Difficulty Info

We organize our trips into the following categories so that choosing the appropriate trip to match your abilities is as easy as possible!



Perfect for new hikers or those concerned whether they are fit for a more strenuous trip. Typically, these trips are on flat or rolling terrain and are at a leisurely pace with plenty of breaks. Only a very basic level of fitness is required and these trips feature our least amount of mileage and least amount of elevation gain. (Class 1)

Easy- Moderate:

Many of these trips ares similar to our easy trips, but with a longer distance (5+ miles per day), sometimes with a reasonable elevation gain but less steep with a more gradual grade. We will be walking on carriage roads or well maintained trails for 3-5 hours/day at a leisurely pace. (Class 1)


Expect to be moving for a full 6-8 hours/day with elevation gain/loss of over 1000′. Most active and fit beginners will excel on these trips, but even those lacking in fitness can typically enjoy their day with proper motivation and expectations. Some trails may have short scrambling sections where it may be necessary to use your hands to pull yourself up onto the next section of trail. (Mostly Class 1, brief Class 2 sections)

Moderate- Strenuous:

These trips are designed for people looking to push themselves a bit, and are typically very doable for those who are reasonably active and have the right mindset. There may be longer distances (7-10 miles/day), more elevation gain/loss (2000’+), with more sections of scrambling. Trips that have off trail travel (bushwacking) are in this category as well.(Mostly Class 1 and 2, short sections of Class 3 and Class 4 are possible)


Higher mileage and high elevation gains. You will appreciate having a higher level of fitness for these trips. (Class 1 and 2, with sections of Class 3 and Class 4 possible)


Mountaineering- Beginner:

These are a perfect introduction if you are looking take your outdoor experience to the next level and have no or limited climbing experience. Only very basic fitness is required, and our approach typically will fall under easy-moderate or moderate difficulty. Climbing portions of these trips are tailored for novice climbers, as well as anyone who is unsure of their climbing abilities.

Mountaineering- Intermediate:

Taking your trip to next level, our intermediate mountaineering trips have longer approaches, and climbs that are slightly harder. Approaches will fall under moderate-strenuous difficulty. While climbing, rappelling, and belaying experience is not always required, it is encouraged.

Rock Climbing- Beginner:

Designed to be an introduction for those who have never climbed before or those who are looking to take their climbing outdoors alike, our beginner rock climbing trips have short approaches in the easy difficulty range.

Rock Climbing- Intermediate:

For those looking to climb a bit harder and already have some climbing, belaying, and rappelling experience, our intermediate rock climbing trips are designed to have slightly harder climbs (5.6 and up), and sometimes require take a longer approach in the easy-moderate difficulty range.

Ice Climbing- Beginner:

Our beginner ice climbing trips are designed for new climbers and climbers with limited experience. We try to keep our approaches short for these climbs, but sometimes that is not possible as some of the climbing areas are a bit remote. Our approaches for these climbs are typically easy-moderate in difficulty. Keep in mind that on the hike into the climbing area we will traveling through snow in mountaineering boots and crampons, often off trail, which is much more work than in hiking boots..

Ice Climbing- Intermediate:

Experience with winter travel and moisture management is encouraged for our intermediate ice climbing trips. We will be hiking in to the more remote climbing areas. The longer approaches require a higher level of fitness and the ability to stay warm in cold using your layering system properly. These approaches are considered moderate in difficulty, and we will be moving through snow in mountaineering boots and crampons, often off trail for extended periods of time- sometimes slow and hard work!


In addition to our difficulty ratings, we use the standard Yosemite Decimal System to describe the classes of travel for our trips:

Class 1: Walking on maintained trails or carriage roads with a low chance of injury.

Class 2: Involves some simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger is encountered.

Class 3: Scrambling with increased exposure. Handholds are necessary. A rope can be carried but is usually not required.

Class 4: More exposed scrambling, ropes can be used for protection. Natural protection can be easily found. Unroped falls may have the potential to be fatal.

Class 5: Technical rock climbing involving rope, belaying, and other protection hardware for safety. Unroped falls can result in severe injury or death.

Class 5 is considered technical rock climbing on a vertical cliff, and is broken down by utilizing a decimal, 5.0 being the easiest, up to 5.15, being the most difficult. Additionally, grades after 5.9 are broken down even further with the placement of either a, b, c, and d after the grade to describe a climb’s difficulty. For example, a 5.10d climb is considered more difficult than a 5.10c, but easier than a 5.11a.

*Each trip is entirely flexible and can easily be altered in accordance to the groups’ abilities during our outing.

Comments are closed