Difficulty scale | Mountain Sports Zillertal - Mountain Sports Zillertal
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Difficulty Scale

Rafting difficulty levels

WW 1

Regular current, regular waves, small rapids, easy obstacles in the river bed

WW 2

Irregular current, irregular waves, medium rapids, weak holes, eddies, and pillows, easy obstacles in the current

WW 3

High, irregular waves, larger rapids, holes, eddies, individual boulders and other obstacles in the current

WW 4

High, continuous rapids, powerful holes, eddies, pillows, higher levels with undertow, scouting of passage necessary

WW 5

Extreme swells, extreme holes, eddies, narrow passages between rocks, high drops with difficult entries and exits

WW 6

Generally impossible, possibly navigable with certain water levels, high risk

Canyoning difficulty levels

Beginner's canyon

... Easy terrain, short swimming passages, small jumps, no use of rope

Intermediate canyon

... Rappelling up to 15 m, jumps up to 8 m, longer swimming passages

Difficult canyon

... Rappelling up to 25 m, good physical shape, rappelling on your own required

Extreme canyon

... Rappelling over 50 m, very challenging physically and technically

Via ferrata difficulty levels

Easy - A

Easy, secured routes. Flat or vertical ladders and iron rungs in terrain that is generally not too steep. There are occasionally exposed areas, but they are easy to navigate (rock ledge, etc.). The terrain is easy to climb even without safety devices (with the exception of ladders over small rock faces) and features good footholds and handholds. In general, if you are surefooted and have a head for heights, it is not necessary for you to secure yourself along the route. 

Moderate - B

Somewhat steeper, rocky terrain with some exposed passages, where you can only take small steps. Includes longer vertical ladders, iron rungs, pegs, or chains. Some passages are strenuous and may sap your strength. Without safety features, the technical climbing difficulties range up to a level 3 (UIAA). Even many experienced mountain climbers will use via ferrata equipment. 

Intermediate - C

Steep to very steep rocky terrain. Mostly exposed passages, where you can only take small steps. Includes overhanging ladders, iron rungs, and pegs, which may be located farther apart. There are often vertical sections secured only by a steep cable. Occasionally very tiring. Without safety features, many passages secured by cables exhibit a difficulty level of 4 (UIAA). Longer climbs at this difficulty level are a major undertaking. The use of safety equipment is recommended even for experienced mountain climbers, who can secure themselves along the route. It is recommended that inexperienced climbers are a part of a rope team with at least one other partner.

Difficult - D

Vertical, often overhanging terrain. Iron rungs and pegs are often placed far apart. Very exposed and steep rock that in most cases is secured by only a steel cable. There are long, overhanging passages requiring a good deal of arm strength and good overall physical fitness. Sometimes in combination with easier climbing sections (up to level 2) that do not require the assistance of safety devices. Via ferrata equipment is necessary even for experienced climbers. No beginners!

Extreme - E

Extremely demanding in terms of strength, surefootedness (climbing shoes may be necessary), and having a head for heights. Reserved for specialists. This level of difficulty is very rare for via ferrata routes. A rope team is practically obligatory. Otherwise, all conditions are a more intensified version of what is described under "difficult".

Freeriding difficulty levels

Freeride level 1

You can navigate all slopes with skis or snowboard. You have already skied off the slopes and would like to improve your technique.

Freeride level 2

You have skied or snowboarded on powder slopes. Various types of snow and steep slopes present difficulties.

Freeride level 3

You can ski or snowboard on all types of snow, and steep slopes present no problems. You would like to have a mountain guide as a reliable partner to show you the best runs.

UIAA rating scale

Minor difficulty level - I

The easiest form of rock climbing. Hands are required to support your balance. A head for heights is already required at this level.

Moderate difficulty level - II

This where climbing that requires the 3-point stance begins.

Intermediate difficulty level - III

Intermediate belay points in exposed spots are recommended. Vertical areas require expenditure of energy. Experienced and trained climbers can climb passages of this difficulty level without safety ropes. 

High difficulty level - IV

This is where the more challenging climbs begin. Substantial climbing experience is necessary. Longer climbing sections usually require several intermediate anchors. Even trained and experienced climbers can usually no longer overcome passages of this difficulty level without safety ropes. 

Very high difficulty level - V

An increasing number of intermediate anchors is the rule to follow. Increased demands on physical abilities, climbing technique, and experience. Long, high alpine routes of difficulty level V are among the major undertakings in the Alps.

Extreme difficulty level - VI

This climb requires above average skill and an excellent level of training. A lot of exposure often combined with small stands. Passages of this difficulty level can normally be overcome only with good conditions.

Exceptionally extreme difficulty level - VII

A difficulty level accomplished by increased training and improved equipment. Even the best climbers need regular training tailored to the type of rock to master routes of this difficulty level. Along with acrobatic climbing ability, mastering sophisticated safety techniques is essential.


Canyoning - Rafting - Alpine School