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Alpine Trip Ratings

The trip ratings are assigned on length (number of days or hours per day) and difficulty of the trip. Since both can vary considerably depending on conditions, ratings should be used as a guideline. The ratings are expressed as a combination of three factors: Duration, Length, and Level of Difficulty (i.e. 1-S-E).

Duration Length Difficulty
1 - 1 Day 

1.5 - 1 Day plus prior evening 

2 - 2 Day with overnight stay at hut or camping 

S - Short, less than 6 hours 

M - Moderate, approx. 6-10 hours 

L - Long, more than 10 hours

E - Easy 

I - Intermediate 

H - Hard 

The level of difficulty is assigned based upon the general knowledge of the route and an assessment of the route by the trip coordinator. These grades should be used as a guideline only, due to seasonal variances in route conditions.

A route rated as "Easy" is generally an easy scramble, Class 2, where hands may be used for balance but there is little exposure.

A route graded "Intermediate" will be Class 3-4, requiring more use of handholds on steeper terrain, more loose rock, the probable use of a climbing rope, and more exposure.

A route rated as "Hard" will be Class 4 to Class 5, technical climbing with greater exposure, technical climbing and belaying, glacier travel, or some combination of these factors.

Note: Trips that involve hut bookings, longer duration, or which have special requirements require extra planning on the part of the trip coordinator and are marked with comments. Please contact the trip coordinator for any details that are not outlined in the event posting.

Ski Trip Ratings

The trip ratings are assigned on length and difficulty of the trip. Since both can vary considerably depending on conditions, ratings should be used as a guideline. The ratings take into consideration three factors: Duration, Distance, and Level of Difficulty.

The level of difficulty is assigned based upon the general knowledge of the route and an assessment of the route by the trip coordinator. These grades should be used as a guideline only, due to seasonal variances in route conditions.

A route rated as "Easy" will be easy terrain, probably on a trail, little elevation gain, no steep sections. Example: Chester Lake, Boom Lake, Kananaskis Trails.

A route graded "Moderate" will be moderate terrain, probably backcountry travel, some steep sections. Example: Healy Pass - Redearth Creek, Dolomite Circuit, Molar Meadows, Burstall Pass.

A route rated as "Difficult" will be difficult, steep terrain, may involve glacier travel, route finding or some travel on foot. These trips may involve multi-day outings. Example: Wapta Icefields, Haig-Robertson Glacier, North Twin, Mt. Gordon.

A route rated as "Expert" will be ski mountaineering, may involve serious glacier travel, route finding or technical climbing. These trips may involve multi-day outings. Example: South Twin, Twins Tower, Mt. Collie / Ayesha, Mt. Robson, etc.

Note: Trips that involve hut bookings, longer duration, or which have special requirements require extra planning on the part of the trip coordinator and are marked with comments. Please contact the trip coordinator at least 3 weeks prior to the trip date.

For any inquiries about the skiing ratings or trips, please either contact the respective trip lead or email our ski committee at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Ice Climbing Ratings

Ice climbing ratings are different in concept from rock climbing ratings in that they refer to overall seriousness instead of to the greatest difficulty encountered on the route. This rating does not necessarily include length or difficulty of the approach. Check with the leader before to be sure.

    Grade Description
    Grade 2 (WI2) A climb with short sections up to 80 degrees.
    Grade 3 (WI3) Sustained ice up to 80 degrees. May have short sections of steeper ice but will have good resting places.
    Grade 4 (WI4) A sustained full pitch of off-vertical or a shorter length (10-25 m) of vertical ice. The ice may have some technical features like chandeliers and may have long runouts between resting places.
    Grade 5 (WI5) A long strenuous pitch. May be a full ropelength of 88-90 degree ice with few resting places or a shorter pitch on bad, featureless ice.

Note: Trips that involve hut bookings, longer duration, or which have special requirements require extra planning on the part of the trip coordinator and are marked with comments. Please contact the trip coordinator at least 3 weeks prior to the trip date.