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Hiking Difficulty Scale

hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty Easiest White   hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty Easy White   hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty Moderate White   hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty More Difficult White   hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty Very Difficult White   hiking difficulty scale - Hiking difficulty scale - Difficulty Snow Activity White

Each hike/trek/package offered by Outdoorlife Norway is labelled with a symbol that indicates the tour’s level of hiking difficulty, as described on this page. The scale was developed by Outdoorlife Norway, but is loosely based on scales, symbols, and descriptions widely used by international hiking, biking, and skiing associations/communities.

Our Hiking Difficulty Scale was Developed for the Following Reasons:

•  To help guests determine which tours best match their skill-sets and fitness levels
•  To increase the quality and safety of our tours

Guests who have realistic expectations about the difficulty of their upcoming adventure are more likely to have an enjoyable experience.

Easiest Difficulty

Suitable for | People of all ages, including children and seniors, who are in fair condition.

Trail Conditions | Wide and facilitated, with hardened and/or smooth surfaces.
Excellent/extensive signage and trail markings.

Type of Terrain | Flat, typically found in parks and forests, or along lakes and beaches.

Distance / Duration / Elevation | Very short, with no increase in elevation.

Guide’s Roles | Facilitator, managing logistics, interpretation, and hostmanship.

Easy Difficulty

Suitable for | People of most ages* who are in general good condition, and have some (basic) hiking experience.

Trail Conditions | Largely facilitated, wide paths with mostly firm and stable surfaces.
Decent signage and trail markings.

Type of Terrain | Flat and/or hilly.

Distance / Duration / Elevation | 2-3 kilometres / 2-3 hours per-day / small increases in elevation

Guide’s Role | facilitator, managing logistics, interpretation, hostmanship, plus some
assistance in navigation, technical skills, and safety.

*The minimum age to participate is specific to each hike. Please click on individual tour pages for more information.

Moderate Difficulty

Suitable for | People of most ages*, who are in general good condition, and have previous hiking experience.

Trail Conditions | Partly facilitated (ie. wooden/stone staircases, bridges, railings). Narrower paths and slightly more technical, although mostly firm and stable surfaces. Rocks and other obstacles are present. Some signage, good trail-markings.

Type of Terrain | Hilly, with some steeper, rocky stretches that require good eye/hand/feet coordination.

Distance / Duration / Elevation | 3-8 kilometres / 3-5 hours per-day / substantial increases in elevation

Guide’s Role | facilitator, managing logistics, interpretation, hostmanship, plus some
assistance in navigation, technical skills, and safety.

*The minimum age to participate is specific to each hike. Please click on individual tour pages for more information.

More Difficult

Suitable for | People of most ages*, who are in very good condition, and have previous experience
hiking on unsteady surfaces in mountainous terrain.

Trail Conditions | Facilitated at times with simple technical equipment (ie. chains and ropes). Narrow and/or non-existent trails, mostly marked with simple signs/cairns. Some technical, “off-the-beaten-track” hiking necessary.

Type of Terrain | Mountainous. Steeper sections with rocky surfaces that require very good eye/hand/feet coordination. A variety of obstacles, including unsteady surfaces (ie. creeks, swamps, bushes, and boulders).

Distance / Duration / Elevation | 8-12 kilometres / 5-7 hours per-day / major increases in elevation

Guide’s Role | Mentor, mostly focusing on navigation, safety, and technical skills. Logistics are planned well in advance. Interpretation and hostmanship are executed whenever possible.

*The age range required to participate is specific to each hike. Please click on individual tour pages for more information.

Very Difficult

Suitable for | People in their physical prime – excluding anyone under 18 years old – who are in extremely good condition and have extensive hiking experience on unsteady surfaces in mountainous terrain.

Trail Conditions | Rarely facilitated with very simple technical equipment (ie, chains and/or ropes). Mainly non-existent, narrow, unmarked trails that require a lot of technical “off-the-beaten-track” hiking and scrambling. at times with simple technical equipment (ie. chains and ropes). 

Type of Terrain | Mountainous. Mainly unsteady surfaces and with a wide variety of obstacles (ie. creeks, rivers, swamps, bushes, boulders, and steep rock surfaces).

Distance / Duration / Elevation | At least 12 kilometres / 7+ hours per-day / 1,500 meter increases in elevation per-day

Guide’s Role | Expedition leader with a great focus on navigation, safety, and technical skills. Logistics are highly tailored and planned well in advanced. Interpretation and hostmanship are executed when possible.

Snow Activity

This symbol indicates that the tour may include snow/ice conditions. Winter activities range all levels of hiking difficulty. When snow and/or ice is present, your guide will provide you with the extra equipment required for safe hiking. This may include hiking poles, spikes and/or snowshoes. Guests are expected to wear/bring above-ankle hiking boots and wind/water-proof hiking clothes that are suitable for winter conditions. If needed these items can be rented during the booking process. 

Please Note

Please Review the Following Information Before Booking your Tour(s)

The scale, symbols, and descriptions as shown above are under constant development, based on our guides’ experiences and guests’ feedback. Although we do our very best in providing our guests with the best information possible, the hiking difficulty scale has a purely indicative function. Outdoorlife Norway does not accept any liability for using our hiking difficulty scale. For all our tours, our General Conditions of Contract apply.

Please avoid booking tours that may exceed your hiking skills and/or level of physical fitness. During our group hikes, guests who are unable to maintain the group’s hiking pace and/or do not have the required skills to hike safely, may be required by the guide to turn back. Individuals who would like to hike with a guide, but believe that the difficulty-level of the group tour exceeds their skills/abilities, have the option of booking privately-guided tours that can be tailored specifically to their needs. In such cases, we ask that inquires be sent via email.

 

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