KMC Trip Grading Scale
All our trips are graded with a letter and a number to help you choose a trip that is appropriate for your level of fitness and technical expertise. If you are unsure about your ability to complete a given trip, talk to the trip coordinator before signing up for the trip. We also use the standard Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale (ATES) ratings for all winter trips. More information on the ATES can be found here.
Avalanche Terrain Exposure Scale:
Simple: Exposure to low angle or primarily forested terrain. Some forest openings may involve the run-out zones of infrequent avalanches. Many options to reduce or eliminate exposure. No glacier travel.
Challenging: Exposure to well-defined avalanche paths, starting zones or terrain traps; options exist to reduce or eliminate exposure with careful route-finding. Glacier travel is straightforward but crevasse hazards may exist.
Complex: Exposure to multiple overlapping avalanche paths or large expanses of steep, open terrain; multiple avalanche starting zones and terrain traps below; minimal options to reduce exposure. Complicated glacier travel with extensive crevasse bands or icefalls.
Physical effort for all trips:
A = easy, less than four hours of travel, little elevation gain.
B = moderate, 4 to 6 hours of travel, 400 to 600 metres (1300 – 2000 ft) of elevation gain.
C = strenuous, 6 to 8 hours of travel, 600 to 1000 metres (2000 – 3300 ft) of elevation gain.
D = very strenuous, over 8 hours of travel, more than 1000 metres (3300 ft) of elevation gain.
E = extended, multi-day trip.
Technical difficulty for Ski and Snowshoe Trips:
1 = track skiing.
2 = Off-track touring (cross-country touring skis, possibly skins).
3 = Back-country skiing on slopes to 30 degrees, telemark, AT or light touring skis with skins.
4 = Advanced back-country skiing on slopes over 30 degrees, telemark or AT skis with skins.
Technical difficulty for Hiking Trips:
1 = hike
2 = scramble
3 =-scramble, perhaps with some exposure
4 = climb
5 = climb, continual belays
Technical difficulty of Biking Trips:
1 = suitable for all bikes
2 = hybrid or mountain bike recommended
3 = moderate mountain biking skills required