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TCSA GRADING SYSTEM
May 2006

Objective

To inform members on the attributes of a hike and how these apply to a person in terms of fitness level so that each person may, as objectively as possible, decide on whether a hike is appropriate for him/her to go on without causing problems for the group in terms of difficulties with fitness, technical ability and aversion to exposure to heights.

Hike attributes

Difficulty: this answers the question that is almost always asked by people before a hike: “How difficult is the hike?” The descriptor grades the hike in one or two words.

Scale Description

Easy

A short, flattish walk, e.g., a beach walk, greenbelt walk, between 3 and 8 km long

Moderate

A hike that is about 8 to 15 km long and without big and steep inclines

Difficult

A hike that is approximately 8 to 25 km long with a few big and/or steep inclines and possibly some moderate rock scrambling and/or on rocky paths and/or without a path

Very difficult

A hike that is more than 8 km long with many extremes in inclines and/or difficult rock scrambling and/or rocky paths and/or without a path

Technical: this classifies the hike in detail with respect to the degree of technical competence required by the hiker.

Scale Description

A walk

A walk  -  no rock scrambling

Easy scramble

Easy rock scrambling requiring use of hands: a person with little experience will be able to cope

Difficult scramble

Difficult rock scrambling requiring extensive use of hands: a person should have some experience in scrambling

Rock climb

Only for a person experienced in rock climbing

Exposure: this classifies the hike in detail with respect to the degree of exposure that the hiker will encounter on the hike.

Scale Description

None

No exposure to heights

Mild

Mild exposure: the path is on steep ground, or near the edge of small cliffs. Those with a fear of heights will feel uncomfortable

High

High exposure: the path is on very steep ground, or near the edge of high cliffs. Those with a fear of heights should not attempt these hikes

Hiker attributes

Fitness: this classifies the person in terms of degree of fitness

Scale Description

Average

Little to moderate physical exertion will be experienced on the hike: a prerequisite for easy and moderately difficult hikes

Fit

Significant, sustained physical exertion will be experienced on the hike: a prerequisite for difficult hikes and for moderate hikes where the pace is fast

Very fit

Extreme physical exertion will be experienced on the hike: a prerequisite for very difficult hikes and for difficult hikes where the pace is fast

To the top
See Mountain Meanders grading system.

Always follow these guidelines when you go hiking:
Hiking in the Mountains - a Survivor's Guide

Hiking Notes

  1. All persons participate in TRAILS CLUB activities ENTIRELY AT THEIR OWN RISK.
  2. All VISITORS and MEMBERS bringing VISITORS must phone the LEADER first.
  3. Hikers must bring at least 1 litre of WATER & FULL RAIN GEAR (raincoat and hood) on hikes.
  4. Book DAY HIKES with the HIKE CONVENOR if required.
  5. Email Payments for trails and weekends to: trails.club.sa@gmail.com or send deposit slip to the co-ordinator. Click to see the banking details of the club. Remember to write your name and what you are paying for on the deposit slip.
  6. PRICES of weekends and trails are subject to change without notice due to increases in booking fees beyond our control.
  7. If meeting place for a hike is not published, it may mean that numbers are limited. You must phone the convenor to book in advance.
  8. Transport is STRICTLY a PRIVATE AFFAIR and it is up to the drivers to make all necessary arrangements with their passengers, preferably BEFORE departure to avoid embarrassment or other problems.
  9. NO SMOKING is allowed on`all hikes.
  10. If your NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, NEXT-OF-KIN, or any other vital statistics change, PLEASE notify the MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY IMMEDIATELY.
© THE TRAILS CLUB OF SOUTH AFRICA