The route is all along mule tracks or well-marked wide paths which are easy to follow right to the destination even in poor visibility conditions. No particular hiking experience is required and limited physical training is necessary to be able to cope with slight gradients at reasonably low levels; as a rule no particular equipment or clothing is required apart from a pair of comfortable walking boots.
The route is mainly on well-marked paths, although this is not always the case with some parts being less evident or with forks which can maybe lead off track. Some snowfields or stone quarries can be found but are never excessively steep or difficult. Normally no particular hiking experience is required except for being able to orient oneself and read a topographical map. There are slopes with gradients of more than degree T but never over 1000 metres overall and at a height of 2500m. Usually no particular equipment is required but suitable clothing is necessary.
This is the most difficult of the hiker scale therefore the uphill path may not be present above all on particular terrain such as extensive stone quarries or snow fields. Some parts of the route could require technical steps such as crossing snowy slopes, going over peaks or exposed parts, where a slip or fall could cause serious consequences. Therefore it is necessary to have excellent hiking skills and knowledge in particular of maps, orienteering and meteorology and the use of technical equipment such as crampons and ice axe. These slopes require great physical strength often exceeding 1800m climbs; most are at heights greater than 2000 metres. For these routes it is essential to have equipment that is suitable for the height reached considering both the clothing and technical equipment necessary for the characteristics of the chosen route.
Equipped expert hiker
Particular level of the hiker scale which includes routes that contain stretches protected by metal wires and equipped with steps and rungs in the most difficult parts. For this reason, not only do you require skills and training to deal with climbing in itself but you also need to know how to use particular equipment such as harnesses, carabiners, shock absorbers , helmet and to be fully able to deal with any situations of danger or rescue always following entirely the general safety rules.
This is the first grade of the Alpine Scale or climbs for which it is necessary to be able to deal with grade EE well and to know how to use particular techniques and equipment to get safely over any difficulties which can be encountered in an icy environment and when climbing rocks, ice or a mixture. The route therefore might present the need to cross ice, to cross steep snowy slopes, it might present stretches with rock climbing of UIAA Grades I and II, snow or rock ridges where balance and a familiarity with steepness are indispensible. The route is generally well marked on the ice or rocks.
Not Very Difficult
The route presents characteristics that are over grade F in that the path might be absent or not easily visible and up to UIAA Grades II and III can be found; glaciers and rocky or snowy ridges that can be found along the route can be complex and require specific technical skills of proceeding as a roped party, skills in using the rope manoeuvre, the ice axe and crampons. Basic knowledge of the mountain for this level is fundamental, in particular as regards orienteering, meteorology and a knowledge of the local area.
The grade above PD differs in its increased physical strength required along the route and in an increase in the technique difficulty to get over particular stretches on ice or rocks, for which perfect technique and perfect knowledge of mountainous and icy areas are necessary. It is necessary to deal in safety with up to UIAA Grades III and IV and environments where covering glaciers and rocky ridges is never simple but the result of one’s skill and assessment. For this grade the knowledge of using equipment and rope manoeuvres, of material for setting up for a rest, ice axes and crampons must be exceptional and without fault. Knowledge of first aid manoeuvres is fundamental .
The route presents all the characteristics typical of the high mountain as described above, but the difficult and demanding parts are much longer, climbing as a roped party becomes frequent. Climbing difficulties often reach UIAA Grades IV and V. The snowy and icy slopes can be as steep as 50/55 and over even for considerable lengths . They can be done only by fully trained and perfectly self-sufficient climbers.
Very hard climbing difficulties on both rocks and ice; ice walls between 70° and 80°
Extreme climbing difficulties on both rocks and ice; ice walls up to 90°