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Tour Ratings

We rate our trekking tours depending on their difficulty from Level 1 to Level 4 with the Level 4 being the most difficult. Several factors influence the ratings including the profile of the itinerary, daily cumulative elevation gain and loss, quality of the trail and trip schedule.

Level 1 "Light walks"

Level 1 describes village-based hiking tours with light day hikes of 3 – 4 hours. The walking distance can vary between 5 and 8 km. The cumulative ascent does not exceed 500 m. You will walk on well-maintained trails only. Level 1 itineraries can ascent above the tree line but do not climb above the meadows, thus reaching a maximum altitude that does not exceed 2300 m. You will need to carry a minimum set of things – just what you need for a 3 to 5 hours hike.

We organize Level 1 hiking programs with accommodation in basecamp hotels, usually in small alpine resort villages in the valleys. Level 1 hikes are good for any fit person. Families with small children can join Level 1 hikes.

Level 2 "Easy hiking"

The Level 2 category includes multi-day trips with 4 – 5 hour crossings between huts and village-based programs with similar day hikes. The Level 2 itineraries follow well-maintained trails only. Some routes include short sections of secured trail that are designed for unexperienced hikers. Typical day crossings range from 7 to 10 km with a total cumulative elevation gain within 300 to 700 m. Some crossings may require an ascent around 800 m. An important characteristic of our Level 2 hikes is that a continuous ascent rarely exceeds 300 m: it is normally spread over 2 or 3 sections of a day crossing.

Village-based Level 2 tours are good for almost any person who likes walking including families with children starting from 6 years old. To participate in hut-to-hut Level 2 hikes you must be fit and preferably have some walking experience in wilderness, not necessarily in the mountains.

Level 3 "Moderate hiking"

The Level 3 trips are mostly multiday hikes with 6 to 7 hour day crossings between the huts. These itineraries follow primarily well-maintained trails that are well marked and equipped with direction signs. The Level 3 itineraries reach high altitude areas without vegetation, high passes and the peaks that are accessible on trails without climbing. There are sections of secured trail on many Level 3 routes but no via-ferrata. Walking on the Level 3 secured trails does not require specific technical skills. Guided Level 3 trips may include glacier crossings: we supply the gear for glacier crossings.

The Level 3 hiking routes are characterized by daily cumulative elevation gain of 600 – 1000 m with day crossings of 10 – 15 km. Continuous ascents do not exceed 600 m. Some itineraries include 1 or 2 hut to hut crossings with a cumulative elevation gain that exceeds 1000 m. Such crossings can take up to 8 hours. You will need to carry a backpack of 7 – 10 kg on the Level 3 routes.

You must be in a good shape to participate in Level 3 trips. Self-guided Level 3 trips require some hiking experience, preferably in the mountains. Be prepared to walk 6 to 7 hours without lengthy pauses. The gear must be tested prior to the trip, particularly the boots. We recommend a regular physical activity as a preparation for a Level 3 trip, for example running for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Level 4 "Challenging treks"

The Level 4 trips are hut-to-hut itineraries that are characterized by at least one of the following factors of difficulty: long day crossings between huts, continuous and steep ascents of around 1000 m, rugged trails or lightly maintained trails. The Level 4 itineraries in the wildest regions may follow the trails that are not well marked. The factors of difficulty of each particular Level 4 tour are listed in the tour characteristics. The Level 4 trips do not feature via-ferratas. Sections of secured trail are present on some itineraries but do not require specific technical skills.

Hiking experience and excellent physical form are a must for the Level 4 trips. You must be physically prepared to walk intensively several days. We recommend a regular physical activity as a preparation for a Level 4 trip, for example running daily for extended periods of time. In wild areas you may need to carry additional clothes or gear what makes your backpack 1 or 2 kg heavier than usually.