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Colorado Mountain Club
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CMC Event, Trip, and Class Classifications

Hike Classifications

  • Class A: Up to 8 miles round trip and 1200 ft. elevation gain. (Prior hiking experience is usually not necessary.)
  • Class B: Up to 12 miles round trip and 2500 ft. elevation gain. (Moderate to strenuous physical activity. Some prior experience is beneficial.)
  • Class C: Up to 15 miles round trip and 3500 ft. elevation gain. (Strenuous to very strenuous physical activity. Prior experience and training is beneficial.)
  • Class D: Over 15 miles round trip or 3500 ft. elevation gain. (Very strenuous physical activity often including exposure or requiring use of technical skills. Knowledge based on prior experience and training is highly beneficial.)
  • Class E: Exposure is involved (i.e., risk of falling) and may require advanced climbing skills

Within each of the above letter classifications, hikes may also be described subjectively as Easy, Moderate, and Difficult in comparison to other trips of the same classification. Thus, a Difficult B hike is harder than an Easy B hike, but easier than a Moderate C hike.

Ski Tour  Classifications

  • Easy I: 1 to 3 miles round trip on generally flat terrain. Suitable for beginners.
  • Easy II: 3 to 6 miles round trip and up to 600 ft. elevation gain.
  • Easy III: 6 to 8 miles round trip or 600 ft. to 800 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate I: 800 ft. to 1100 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate II: 1100 ft. to 1500 ft. elevation gain.
  • Moderate III: 1500 ft. to 1800 ft. elevation gain.
  • Advanced I: 1800 ft. to 2500 ft. elevation gain, 15-20 miles.
  • Advanced II: Over 2500 ft. elevation gain.

Advanced ski tours are generally over 10 miles on difficult terrain and at a fast pace. To go on an Advanced ski trip, you must be able to break trail for three miles and must have excellent Nordic downhill ability. In addition to the CMC essentials, you should carry a shovel, avalanche beacon, and any extra items required by the leader.


Climbing Classifications

    Rock climb
    • Trad lead
    • Sport lead
    • Top rope

These difficulty levels are from 5.0 to 5.10, using the conventional Yosemite Decimal Rating system, which is used by the English-speaking climbing community the world over.


    Ice climb
    • Trad lead
    • Top rope

    Scramble
    • Class II
    • Class III
    • Class IV