T1 – Valley Hikes
Paths are well cleared. In case they are marked according to SAW standards: marking is yellow. Flat or slightly sloped, no danger of falling. Requirements: None, tennis shoes are fine. No problem to get oriented, even without a map.
Tour examples: Männlichen – Kleine Scheidegg, Hut path to Jura Hut, Vermigel Hut.
T2 – Mountain Hikes
Paths with continuous marked-out route. In case it is marked according to SAW standards: white-red-white. Sometimes steep, danger of falling possible. Requirements: Sure footedness sometimes needed. Trekking shoes are recommended. Basic orientation skills.
Tour examples: Wildhorn Hut, Bergsee Hut, Täsch Hut from Täschalp.
T3 – Challenging Mountain Hikes
Paths are not always visible. Exposed sections can be safeguarded with ropes or chains. The hands might be needed for balance. In case the path is marked: white-red-white. Can have exposed sections with danger of falling, scree slopes, pathless craggy ground. Requirements: sure footedness, good trekking shoes. Average orientation skills. Basic alpine experience required.
Tour examples: Hohtürli, Sefinenfurgge, Fründen Hut, Grosser Mythen.
T4 – Alpine Hikes
Path traces are not always present. Some sections require the use of hands. In case paths are marked: white-blue-white. Grounds are relatively exposed, tricky grass slopes, craggy ground, simple firn fields and snow free glacier sections. Requirements: Stable trekking shoes. Basic ability to judge grounds and good orientation skills. Alpine experience required. A sudden change in the weather can make a retreat/fallback difficult.
Tour examples: Forno Hut, Schreckhorn Hut Dossen Hut, Mischabel Hut.
T5 – Challenging Alpine Hikes
Often without paths. Some easy climbing sections. In case it is marked: white-blue-white. Exposed, demanding grounds, steep craggy ground. Danger of slipping on glaciers and firn fields. Requirements: Climbing boots. Experienced to judge grounds and very good orientation skills. Good alpine experience also in high alpine areas. Basic knowledge in the use of pick and rope.
Tour examples: Cabane Dent Blanche, Büttlasse, Salbitbiwak, Bristen.
T6 – Difficult Alpine Hikes
Mostly without path. Climbing sections up to II. Paths are not marked most of the time. Often very exposed. Tricky craggy ground. Glaciers with increased danger of slipping. Requirements: Excellent orientation skills. Advanced alpine experience and well acquainted with the use of technical alpine appliances.
Tour examples: Niesen ridge (Fromberghorn North), Glärnisch Guppen ridge.
L (E - Easy)
Rock: easy hiking grounds (scree, easy block ridge) UIAA rating: from I
Firn and Glacier: easy firn slopes, hardly any crevasses Tour examples: Wildhorn normal route
WS (LD - Little Difficult)
Rock: mostly hiking grounds, advanced surefootedness needed, climbing sections are easy and without problems UIAA rating: from II
Firn and Glacier: usually only a few steep slopes, short steeper sections, only a few crevasses Tour examples: Balmhorn normal route
ZS (QD - Quite Difficult)
Rock: Repeated belay necessary, quite long and exposed climbing sections UIAA rating: from III
Firn and Glacier: slopes quite steep, sometimes belay station necessary, a lot of crevasses, little bergschrund Tour examples: Diamantstock East Ridge
S (D - Difficult)
Rock: good sense for the route and efficient handling of the rope needed, long climbing sections, belay stations needed most of the time UIAA rating: from IV
Firn and Glacier: very steep slopes, belay stations needed most of the time, a lot of crevasses, big bergschrund Tour examples: Eiger Middle-Egi Ridge
SS (VD - Very Difficult)
Rock: in difficult sections belay stations always needed, continuous challenging climbing UIAA rating: from V
Firn and Glacier: continuous steep grounds, belay station always needed Tour examples: Doldenhorn East Ridge
AS (ED - Exceptionally Difficult)
Rock: wall sections which require a lot of dedication UIAA rating: from VI
Firn and Glacier: very steep and vertical sections, require ice climbing Tour examples: Eiger North Face
EX (XD - Extremely Difficult)
Rock: extremely steep, sometimes overhanging wall sections UIAA rating: VII and more
Firn and Glacier: most extreme ice climbing Tour examples: Eiger Czech route