The system we use helps to determine the suitability of walks and other activities for participants. Each grading consists of four parts, the activity type and three characters: distance, terrain and fitness level.
- Activity Type – Abbreviated
- Distance grade – Abbreviated
- Terrain Difficulty grade – 1 to 9, ascending in order of difficult
- Fitness grade – A to E, ascending in order of difficulty
Example: A suitable walk for beginners is the Venman Bushland National park, which is a 7.5 path/ track walk. This particular activity is a DW with a grading of S3A. The classification and grading means that this is a Day Walk, of Short length in distance, with a Terrain difficulty of 3 and a Fitness grade of A.
Participants are responsible for ensuring they are capable of doing the walk for which they nominate.
- Easier walks: A terrain grade of 1 – 3 is suitable for beginners and inexperienced walkers.
- Moderate walks: A terrain grade of 4 and higher requires increasing degrees of self-reliance.
- Difficult walks: A terrain grade of 7 and higher requires accurate self-assessment of ability before undertaking difficult walks, including off track day walks and through walks.
Participants are encouraged to contact the walk leader and discuss fitness and skill levels if they are in any doubt.
|Controlled descent of a vertical drop, such as a rock face.
|Staying at a location and using it as a base for walks.
|A Day Walk is a walk that is undertaken over the course of a single day.
|Safety and Training
|Safety and Training activities are conducted specifically to heighten the skills of leaders and other members. (Examples of Safety and Training activities are Navigation Exercises, First Aid Courses, Abseiling Courses, and Leader Training Base Camps.)
|E.g. Dinner, Xmas Party, etc.
|Surveys are activities conducted specifically for the purpose of scoping new locations, or locations that have not been visited for some time, for suitability to use for day walks, through walks or otherwise, Surveys usually consist of small, experienced groups.
|Through Walks typically begin on Friday night and finish on Sunday afternoon/evening. The walker must carry all their gear for camping out overnight, sometimes including water for the duration. These walks are regarded as the ultimate in walking, as you are able to visit more remote areas not able to be accessed by road and therefore considered more interesting and sometimes challenging. In contrast there are some fairly easy through walks, which are, for the most part on tracks, yet still giving the impression of being somewhere fairly remote, interesting and away from civilisation.
|Less than 10km per day
|10-15km per day
|15 – 20km per day
|Over 20km per day
Terrain represents the degree of difficulty of track/off-track conditions such as the steepness and looseness of slopes, creek walking and crossing, amount of scunge (thick undergrowth), etc. Terrain also represents the demands on agility, experience, skills such as rock hopping (walking on possibly loose rocks, e.g. in creek beds), scrambling (using hands for balance and climbing), using hand ropes to assist climbing, abseiling, etc. and exposure (head for heights, cliffs). In the event of bad weather, the terrain grade should be considered as higher.
|Path with smooth surface and low gradient.
|Well-formed path or graded track with some minor obstacles.
|Graded tracks, with obstacles such as rock or root intrusions, fallen debris, or creek crossings.
|Rough, unformed track or open terrain, with obstacles such as rock or root intrusions, fallen debris, or creek crossings.
|Rough or rocky terrain that may require use of hands, and/or creek rock hopping that requires small to moderate steps. Fallen debris possible.
|Steep, rough or rocky terrain requiring use of hands, and/or creek rock hopping requiring moderate to large steps or jumps. Fallen debris possible.
|Climb or descend steep rock, using hand or foot holds. May be some exposure. Good upper body strength required.
|Climb or descend near vertical rock with exposure, using widely spaced or small hand or foot holds. Climbing skills may be required. Good upper body strength required.
|Sustained climbing or descent of vertical or near vertical rock with exposure, using widely spaced or small hand or foot holds. Advanced climbing skills may be required. Good upper body strength required.
|Physical / Endurance Gradings
|Basic – Generally suitable for new bushwalkers. About four hours of walking and possibly minor hills. Slower pace with frequent breaks.
|Easy – About five hours of walking and/or about 300m of elevation gain/loss per day.
|Moderate – About six hours of walking and/or about 600m of elevation gain/loss per day. Agility required.
|Hard – Good fitness, endurance and agility required. About seven hours of walking and/or about 800m of elevation gain/loss per day.
|Very Hard – High fitness, endurance and agility required. About eight hours of walking and/or about 1000m of elevation gain/loss per day.