The hike grading system is based on Technical Difficulty and Strenuousness.

Technical Difficulty grades indicate the difficulty of the ‘moves’ on the hike, measuring the degree of technical competence required to complete the hike. A hike is awarded the grade of the most technical section which may be short but stop some hikers in their tracks, thus compromising the outing for the Meet Leader and the other participants.

Technical Difficulty Grade Description
0 Walking: Strolling on good path, or level surface, suitable for the whole family.
1 Easy hiking: Walking on a trail, over relatively easy terrain.
2 Normal hiking: Walking on or off trail over rough terrain, but no use of hands needed.
2+ Easy scrambling: Walking on or off path with occasional use of hands required.
3 Normal scrambling: Frequent use of hands to facilitate upward movement with a fair amount of exposure to steep drop-offs. May be problematic for those with a fear of heights.
4 Serious scrambling: High exposure levels where most would feel more comfortable using a rope. Totally unsuitable for acrophobics.

Strenuousness grades relate to the level of exertion or fitness required to complete the hike: they assess the stamina required to withstand increasing levels of exertion imposed by such factors as: hike length, elevation gain, steep slopes, expected time to complete, bundu bashing through dense fynbos, soft sand, mud (conditions after rain), number of river crossings, boulder-hopping, lack of on-route water requiring you to carry it in, weight of back pack etc. Strenuousness is graded low (L), medium (M) and high (H). Factors contributing towards a strenuousness grading of M and especially H should be briefly explained in the meet write-up to permit prospective participants to decide whether this hike is within their capability.

Some examples of strenuousness factors:

Strenuousness Factor Low Medium High
Distance (km/day) <5 5 – 15 >15
Elevation gain (m) <250 250 – 750 >750
Steep slopes, up and or down None Some Many
Expected time to complete (hr) <2 2 – 5 >5
The ‘going’: mud, soft sand, snow and or ice, river crossings, boulder hopping, scree slopes, bundu bashing etc. None Some Lots
Kloofing swim distance < ½ km ½ to 1 km >1 km
Kloofing water temperature >25°C 20 to 25°C < 20°C
Sea tide complications None Possible Likely
Drinkable water on route Lots Some None
Is this a recce? No Some short sections Yes, all or most of it
Size of backpack Day pack Day pack + extra water Full pack

Some grading examples follow:

Noetzie to Sinclair Hut at high tide: 4M (rope required at some sections at high tide)

Sparrebosch to Coney Glen: 4H (several high-exposure sections, rope required depending on swell size)

Seweweekspoortberg: 3H (1 500 m ascent, boulder hopping, icy slopes possible)

Harkerville 2-Day Coastal Hike: 3H (lots of boulder hopping, carrying full pack).

Cradock Peak: 3H (18 km, >1 200 m ascent)

Noetzie to Sinclair Hut at low tide: 3M (some boulder hopping and bundu-bashing)

Robberg Peninsula: 2+M (9 km and 4 hours to complete)

Tait’s Kop: 2+M (6 km and about 500 m ascent)

Wolwe and Kaaimans Rivers kloofing: 2+M (some boulder hopping)

Groeneweide Red Route and Silver pools: 2M (16 km, >5 hours)

Drupkelders: 2M (short steep slopes, up and down)

De Groote Kosyn: 2M (some bundu bashing)

Jonkersberg: 2M (some bundu bashing, about 400 m ascent)

Circles in a Forest (previously Woodcutters Trail): 2M

Brenton to Buffalo Bay beach walk: 1L

Platbank to Groenvlei: 0L