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Your guide to toughness, accommodation and challenge factor grading

All our trips are designed to provide a challenge.  Expect full days of physical activity over varied terrain in potentially inclement weather, even at the lower grades.  Higher-graded trips usually feature longer days, more demanding terrain and weather conditions, and are often at altitude.  Duration of trip and living conditions are also taken into account.

To help you further, look out for each trip's Accommodation icon, and the Challenge Icon indicating the trip's most challenging element (though usually not the only one!)


A good entry-level grade, perfect for first challenges.  As the level increases, expect more challenging distances and some tougher terrain.  Trips with camp or dorm-style accommodation are graded harder than those with hotels.



Expect longer days and tougher terrain to be the rule rather than the exception. More moderate days may be offset by the living conditions, challenging climate and remoteness, or some days at altitude.



Generally at altitude and in exposed, tough terrain; days are generally long.  These trips demand total dedication and commitment.  Again, living conditions are taken into account.



Shared rooms, often dorm-style, in hostels, huts, tea-houses, or bedding down on the floor of a local homestay or community hall.  Not usually abundant in home comforts, but prompts wonderful group camaraderie and guaranteed to provide a few funny memories.



Might be large tourist-standard hotel or smaller family-run guesthouse, but expect twin-share rooms and a few home comforts (but not luxury - that's not our style!).  



Could be on a campsite with good facilities or rough camping in the desert or mountains; expect an expedition-style tent (shared), amazing food, a sunset bar, starry skies and a great atmosphere. 


WEATHER - Cold, Hot & Humid

Extremes of temperature and humidity can add to fatigue, sap you of energy and make everything feel harder, depending on how easily you adapt.

cold hot humid

Long day

Longer days add to fatigue and ramp up the aches and pains, or form a stand-alone tough challenge. 

long day

 Night Walking

Just to add to the challenge, you're doing it by torch-light!

night walking

Terrain & Altitude

Hilly or mountainous, expect the length/severity of the ascents, or the conditions underfoot, to be demanding.  Trips with prolonged time over 2500m have an additional Altitude icon. 

  altitude terrain