The Difficulty of
To give members as much information as possible about a planned hike, we will be adding a derivative of the Yosemite system to our already existing rating. The Yosemite system refers primarily to the difficulty of the terrain. It must be noted that any fall, even on a Class 1, can be fatal.
Class 1-Simple hiking, on or off trail.
Class 2-Simple scrambling, with possible occasional use of the hands.
Class 3-Significant scrambling, a rope can be carried but is usually not required. May be difficult for less experienced hikers.
Class 4-Simple climbing involved, with exposure. Relatively plentiful handholds. A rope is often used. Falls are generally very serious or fatal.
Class 5-Technical free climbing, with rope, belaying and other protection hardware. NOT DONE IN THE OUTBACK CLUB. You can also rate the degree of exposure in any category, for example, minimal, moderate, high. So-every hike should be described in terms of both physical difficulty (distance, total elevation change, overall gestalt) and terrain difficulty. Verbal descriptions, of course, are extremely helpful and important-try to mention any major issues, such as a "steep ascent or descent", etc.
As an illustration, a hypothetical hike up the I- Way, stroll around the mountain top, and return the same way might be: STRENUOUS. TOTAL ELEVATION GAIN-about 1500 feet, DISTANCE- about 7 miles, CLASS 3, MODERATE EXPOSURE. Description might include "long, steep climbs up and down, with areas of loose rock", etc.