Walk Grading Guidelines.

The following guidelines have been developed by the Mountain Devils as a guide for participants in club walks and for activity leaders to use when assessing the difficulty of a walk. These are the guidelines that are applied for all walks undertaken by The Mountain Devils.


Walks are graded using two criteria:

Approximate Distance: The distance grading is expressed in bands. Measuring the distance of a walk is not an exact science, some leeway is required. If a reasonably accurate distance is known it will be noted in the description. The bands are:

  1. A - 0 to 5km's.
  2. B - > 5 to 10km's.
  3. C - > 10 to 15km's.
  4. D - > 15 to 20km's.
  5. E - > 20km's.

Terrain: What the walking surface is like. The terrain of a walk can be described by a single item or a combination of items from the following list:

  1. 1 - Graded track, some incline.
  2. 2 - Graded track, hills, creek crossings.
  3. 3 - Rough track, steep sections, creek crossings.
  4. 4 - Off-track, moderate terrain.
  5. 5 - Off-track, hard terrain.
  6. 6 - Rock scrambling, exposure to heights.

Some useful definitions:
Graded Track - Tracks that are formed and maintained (by man or regular use) for walking or use by vehicles including sand, dirt, rock, concrete and bitumen surfaces.

Rough Track - A track that is not well formed and/or not maintained, resulting in rough walking surfaces.

Off-Track - Territory where there are no formed or maintained tracks, this type of walk would generally require bush navigation.

Rock Scrambling - Walkers make use of hands and feet to climb up or down rock ledges, chimneys, clefts and/or over boulders.

Walking pace - Some walks may include in the description the term "T.I.E." (Take It Easy). This can be a shorter or slower paced walk for older people or those with lesser fitness, or people who may like to do some harder walks, possibly including off-track but at their own pace.
The majority of club walks could be described as being undertaken at a "moderate pace". This means stand-up regrouping, breaks for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and stops at places of interest.
There can also be walks described as "quick pace". These are similar to moderate paced walks but the number and length of breaks are reduced. These are generally harder or longer walks.

Exploratory Walks - Are conducted to either investigate an area or the Leader may not have an accurate description to go by so the walk can become exploratory in nature. Participants in exploratory walks need to bring an open mind and a sense of adventure.

Additional notes:

- If you are unsure of any grading, please discuss this with the Activity Leader who is organising the walk when you book-in.
- National Parks party size limits where applicable are to be complied with.
- Some variations to the definitions above may be needed to cover some walks and participants will be advised of this in the walk description.

Some example walk descriptions using this model:

Camden Cycleway
Easy stroll along the Cycleway at Camden. 6km.
xxxx xxxx
Dist: B
Ter: 1
Woolwash - Georges River - Old Kent Rd.
Off-trail exploratory walk along the Georges River. Bring your gaiters. Only for experienced walkers therefore "Members Only". Places limited to 8 walkers.
xxxx xxxx
Dist: B
Ter: 4
Mermaids Pool - Bargo River.
It's time to put this enjoyable walk on again. Two steepish ascents and descents. 5km.
xxxx xxxx
Dist: A
Ter: 1,2
Dharawal SCA - Wedderburn.
Victoria Rd - O'Hares Ck - 10b Firetrail - Stokes Ck - Minerva Rd. Long hard exploratory walk through Dharawal SCA. 6 x >100m ascents/descents, quick pace.
xxxx xxxx
Dist: D
Ter: 2,3,5,6