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Levels of Difficulty

As a guide to help outing leaders and members of the ACC Montreal section with the difficulty levels for outings, the following scale provides a basis for leaders to describe the outing difficulty level, and helps participants to choose outings within their capabilities.

Please note that the scale is for guidance only. Unique features of an outing may change the level of difficulty of an outing.

Activity

Level

Description

Rock Climbing

Beginner Top roping up to 5.6
Single pitch leading up to 5.4
Intermediate Top roping up to 5.9
Sport climbing up to 5.9
Single pitch leading up to 5.7
Multipitch leading up to 5.4
Strong Intermediate Single pitch leading up to 5.10
Multipitch leading up to 5.8
Advanced Single pitch 5.10 and above
Multipitch 5.8 and above
Note that remote access or multi­pitch climbs tend to increase the seriousness of the outing.

Hiking

Beginner 8 km or less, under 4 hours
Good trails with small elevation gain
Intermediate 8 to 16 km, 4 to 8 hours
Mostly on trails with significant elevation gain and some steep sections
Strong Intermediate Over 16 km, over 8 hours
Trails with some bush­wacking or slides
Significant elevation gain with steep ascents and/or descents
Easy overnights
Advanced Over 16 km, over 8 hours
Trails/Bush­wacking/Slides with significant elevation gain and steep ascents and/or descents
Long overnights

Cross-country skiing

Beginner Less than 10 km
Groomed trails
Typically green and blue trails at X­C ski areas.
Intermediate 10 to 20 km
Groomed with some ungroomed trails
Typically blue or easy black trails at X­C ski areas
Strong Intermediate 20 km or more
Mostly ungroomed trails with some steep ascents and descents
Moderate overnights
Advanced 30 km or more
Ungroomed trails with steep ascents and descents and challenging sections
Long overnights

Telemark skiing

Beginner Less than 8 km
Wide trails allowing turns on the descents.
Generally shallow descents
Green and Blue runs at ski areas
Intermediate 8 to 16 km
Narrow sections of trail limiting the freedom for turns on the descents.
Some steep descents
Blue and Black runs at ski areas
Strong Intermediate 16 km or more
Double black diamond runs at ski areas
Narrow trails with some steep descents
Moderate overnights
Advanced 20 km or more
Narrow trails providing challenging terrain on descents.
Steep descents
Long overnights
Where an outing is open to Telemark and Cross­country skiers the Cross­country level will usually be at least one level higher than the Telemark level.

Ice Climbing

Beginner Single pitch & top roped
Up to grade III ice
Intermediate Single pitch up to grade IV ice
Multipitch up to grade III ice
Advanced Single pitch climbs above grade IV ice
Intermediate and above multipitch climbs

Snow shoeing

Beginner 8 km or less, under 4 hours
Good trails with small elevation gain
Intermediate 8 to 16 km, 4 to 8 hours
Mostly on trails with significant elevation gain and some steep sections
Strong Intermediate Over 16 km, over 8 hours Trails with some bush­wacking Significant elevation gain with steep ascents and/or descents
Easy overnights
Advanced Over 16 km, over 8 hours
Trails/Bush-wacking with significant elevation gain and steep ascents and/or descents
Long overnights