Grading Definitions

Grading Definitions


Discovery & Cruising

These are our least demanding trips. These journeys of discovery and cruises involve little or no extended activity and are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health. The itinerary may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travelling days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms.

Suggested preparation: Once or twice a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour, for at least 2-3 months prior to departure.     

Adventure Touring

These adventure tours sometimes may visit remote areas where facilities are often basic. Many of these trips sometimes involve some camping or basic lodging. These adventure tours will often involve long journeys and rough roads. To enjoy these adventures we suggest reasonable fitness and health, a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude.

Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.  


These trips involve trekking or walking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace. You will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health. (Note: These are not easy trips).

Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic type exercise, (either cycling or jogging) three times a week. For trekking, hill walking with a daypack in variable weather conditions is also recommended. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week for three months prior to departure is recommended. 

Introductory to Moderate

These trips involve a combination of what is described in our INTRODUCTORY and MODERATE levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with several moderate stages


These adventures involve trekking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Treks may involve carrying a full pack around 15kg. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions.

Suggested preparation: 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions, kayaking or road cycling is also recommended depending upon the activity you plan to undertake.     

Moderate to Challenging

This trip grading involves a combination of what is described in our MODERATE and CHALLENGING levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with several challenging stages.


These adventures involve trekking, cycling or rafting in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day, possibly more. With remoteness comes potential to encounter variable weather conditions. You will need an excellent level of fitness, be prepared to carry a full pack weighing up to 20kgs and be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions and remote locations where evacuation may be very difficult.

Suggested preparation: One hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended.    

Entry Level Mountaineering/Exploratory Treks

These adventures are classed as expeditions. They involve either extreme trekking and or basic mountaineering. Expect remote and poorly defined trails in variable weather conditions for up to 12 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). This may include a number of demanding high pass crossings and evacuation may be difficult from remote areas.  Suitable for first time mountaineers wishing to take the step from trekking into the realm of mountaineering.  Prior experience trekking at altitude is preferable but not essential and you should be comfortable in adverse weather conditions. Prior technical mountaineering experience is not necessary. Terrain will involve low angle snow slopes. Ropes may be used during treks for glacier travel and steeper sections of ice and snow. When mountaineering, basic mountaineering instruction is given by our mountaineering guides.

Intermediate Mountaineering Expedition

Participants should be competent and self sufficient in the outdoors and have experience in multi day trekking at altitude. Prior experience on an entry level mountaineering expedition is highly recommended. The terrain will involve low to moderate angle snow slopes and traveling on crevassed glaciers. Experience using ice axe and crampons is preferred but not essential.     

Advanced Mtn Expedition

Our most challenging expeditions. Prior mountaineering experience is required. Most are participatory expeditions and involve load carrying, setting up of camps, cooking and campcraft. Altitudes can exceed 6500m. Some expeditions also involve “technical” climbing and are for experienced alpine climbers/mountaineers only. Technical expeditions involve steep climbing at high altitude (including rock climbing). Participation on one of these expeditions is subject to acceptance by one of our high altitude mountaineering guides. They provide a helpful insight into our extraordinary adventures.



The conditions are relatively straightforward and not technically difficult. Expect generally low angled slopes with no prolonged steep or exposed sections and glacier travel where participants are roped together. Abseiling may be required in short sections.


The conditions are variable with generally low angled slopes with some sections of moderately steep snow or easy rock where ropes are required . Some basic rock climbing and abseiling involved.


The conditions are challenging involving steep and exposed snow and ice slopes with sections of rock climbing. Some sections involve abseiling and belaying.


A more serious and technical undertaking involving long and exposed climbing on snow, rock and ice. Competent rope work, efficiency of movement and good technical skills are required.