Walking Grades – use your goat instinct
We are here to guide you…
We design our holidays with independent adventurous women in mind. Whatever the age or ability we want to offer a range of holidays to give some challenge, some new experiences and good quality, comfortable accommodation to relax at the end of the day.
Everyone is individual and our grading is to guide you to choose the right holiday for you. Our itineraries give more detailed information on what you can expect but we are on hand if you have any questions. We want our holidays to encourage you to come back for more and more.
We have 4 grades to keep it simple. As we get holidays back up and running we will listen to customer feedback and give more information if it is required. Guides may change the itinerary depending on weather and conditions. A certain flexibility is always required. The number of mountain goats reflects the challenge – 1 being easiest and 4 hardest.
We also expect you to be fit enough for the trip you choose. For Goat 1 walking regularly on the flat, only needing a tea break after 2 hours, should be ok to Goat 4 where you have no time for tea breaks and can walk up hill for hours chatting!
Be assured that our guides discuss each days walk with the group the evening before. If you ever feel it’s not for you or you simply want a rest day this is absolutely fine.
Easy hikes that anyone with reasonable health can do.
You can expect to walk 2-4 hours a day on easy paths with few steep ascents and there is unlikely to be unstable terrain – typically 5-10km. Sometimes walks maybe longer where the pace is slower – one guide introduced more tea breaks and the group was out walking for 6 hours. Please read the individual holiday information. Our city walks are grade 1 and focus on introducing you to the local area with plenty of refreshment stops. If you are rediscovering your walking legs these holidays could be for you.
We know many people like to have some challenge and these walks could include some hills and even mountains. Sometimes terrain could be uneven with loose rocks – this will be made clear in information about individual holidays. You can expect 4-6 hours of walking with regular refreshment stops. There may be ascents but they will be very steady and usually less than 600m. One of our guides describes these as mountain tortoise style walks – slow and steady. Requires some fitness and our guides can adjust the pace depending on the group. You can expect a maximum of 10km per day but when we have longer sun light days they could be longer.Always depending on weather and the group.
Our Cross Country Skiing for newcomers is usually graded as 2 goats as even though you can take part,never having skiied before,it does require a certain level of fitness.
Longer hikes with more ascents and descents.
Could be ascents of over 1000m. You can expect to walk for 6-8 hours over rougher terrain and with more height. Walks could be up to 15km but will vary daily. If you are looking to challenge yourself and increase fitness these walks could be for you. You would need strong knees and ankles, stamina and a good level of fitness.
Demanding hikes in more challenging terrain.
Ascents and descents could be steep and walks could be up to 10 hours. They are sometimes much sorter to allow for a steady pace where we are climbing higher.If we are hiking over 1500m these will definitely be 4 Goat walks. Terrain is likely to be varied and may be rocky and unstable in places. You need to be in good shape and have previous experience of tough walks. Some would describe these as epic as they get you to more unpopulated places and into wilderness if possible. Our newer walks in Switzerland and Andalucia,Spain will typically be 4 Goats as we explore more mountainous terrain with spectacular views from ridges and tops.
‘A bit of everything’
Sometimes we will run holidays with a little bit of everything so couples, or friends , of varying abilities can join. You will be able to select the walk to suit you and then join up at the end of the day to share stories. These are known as our ‘bit of everything ‘ holidays .
We don’t like to be too prescriptive as your choice depends on what you feel ready and able for. Contact us if you feel unsure. The table below is to help.
|1||2 – 6||gradual||gradual||5-8km||Suitable for anyone||None|
|2||4 – 6||600m||600m||6-10km||Average fitness||Little|
|3||6 – 8||900+m||900m||10-15km||Good level of fitness||Possible Ridges|
|4||8+||1300m||1300m||5-15km||Good level of fitness with great stamina. Walks may be less distance but will be steeper||Very likely|
Note: the above is guidance please read individual holiday description
Exposure means the possible exposure to height especially cliffs,ridges or areas that some people may not feel comfortable with. We aim to avoid narrow ridges and very exposed ones.
Up and Down – this is very general. What goes up must come down – the thing to note is how steep is the ascent or descent which we try to give in our more detailed itineraries. Some holidays will be walking ridges and staying in accommodation along the way. On these holidays the ascent is usually greater but once up you walk along steady ridge paths with spectacular scenery.