How are walks graded ?

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Giving a walk a grade is a very subjective exercise and depends on the standards of the person setting the standards. Therefore the grades used through this website can best be described as comparative and are graded as follows -

Easy
Easy/Moderate
Moderate
Moderate/Hard
Hard
Very Hard
Severe - Challenge Routes

The grade awarded depends on an accumulative assessment based on five main criteria -

Terrain covered by the route. Low level walks that can be completed on good paths will be graded easy whilst those including pathless sections and/or difficult terrain will be graded hard.

Total height gain in the walk. Thus a walk with a large ascent will be graded higher than a level walk.

Total distance covered by the route. The longer the walk the harder the grade.

Equipment required to safely complete the route. Easy routes can normally be completed with minimal equipment. However before attempting any route you should assess the safe level of equipment that needs to be carried taking into account weather and route difficulty.

Navigation and compass skills required. The use of a map, preferably at 1:25000 scale is recommended as good navigation skills can help with route finding if the instructions are unclear. In addition in more difficult terrain and in poor weather navigation skills and the use of a map are vital.

The grades are all based on the assumption the route can be completed in reasonable weather conditions. For example low cloud can cause problems on some moorland and mountain routes with map reading and compass skills essential. Heavy rain can cause rivers and streams to become too deep or dangerous to cross. Under ice and/or snow some routes may become impassable to walkers unless they are competent in the use of ice axe and crampons. High winds may make some ridges and mountain areas dangerous. Thunder storms put walkers at risk especially on high land. Finally remember combinations of adverse weather increase the risks substantially.

Best Read - Editor's Choice

Dark Peak WalksDark Peak Walks - Guidebook to 40 walks in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park. 35 circular routes for most abilities, from 8km to 19km, around Edale, Marsden, Fairholmes, Baslow and Castleton, including Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, and 5 longer (25km to 45km) routes highlighting the best of the Gritstone Edges, High Moorland and Deep Valleys. More information

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Garmin GPSEnter the age of digital mapping and enjoy accurate navigation when out walking on the hills and in the countryside. Ordnance Survey's FLASH SALE is offering a wide range of GPS receivers, many with Ordnance Survey 1:25k and 1:50k digital mapping, with substantial reductions of up to £90. Information and prices go to Ordnance Survey GPS Sale

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