Difficulty - Endurance
the difficulty of a hike/climb based upon the amount of cardio-vascular effort required the author has considered factors
such as distance, elevation gain and loss, steepness of terrain, weather conditions, bush-whacking, stream crossings, some
technical aspects such as hand use, talus, scree etc. This scale is highly subjective
and will vary greatly depending on the conditions in which the hike/climb was completed.
0 - sitting
5 - moderate
day scramble in summer conditions, the “average” scramble in Kane’s book or a longer day hike in Daffern’s
10 - Multi-week
high altitude climb with full expedition gear in extreme conditions
the difficulty of a hike/climb based upon the technical aspects of the climb/hike the author has considered the steepness
of the trail, the quality of the rock, the existence of talus, scree, the quality and amount of handholds, the amount of hazards
and the existence of exposure (fall distance) etc. This rating is based on the
most difficult part of the hike/climb unless the difficult part is very short and out of proportion to the rest of the hike/climb.
Note: the author believes that a rope and belay should be employed on exposed sections that are more than trivial in terms
of difficulty. It is completely up to you to determine what amounts to "trivial".
1: Hiking on a clear, well-maintained trail, no hazards and
1.5: Hiking on a rough trail, moderate inclines.
2: Hiking on an intermittent or hard to discern trail or animal trail, requires some
route-finding skills, through brush, over fallen trees, mild talus or scree.
2.5: Hiking that requires route-finding skills, through thick brush,
over fallen trees and other small hazards or rough steep talus and scree, some use of hands may be required for balance but
such use is not necessary. Kane: “largely a hike”
3: Scrambling over rock, moderate hazards or steep talus, occasional use of hands required,
no exposure. Kane “easy”
3.5: Scrambling over steep rock, larger hazards or very steep talus, some route finding required, frequent use
of hands required, mild exposure, likelihood of injury if a fall occurs. Kane:
4: Scrambling over very steep rock, consistent use of hand holds to
ascend, route-finding required to stay off technical rock, descending may require rope, exposure, likelihood of severe injury
or death if a fall occurs. Kane: “difficult”
4.5: Scrambling over extremely steep rock, consistent use of hand holds to ascend, route-finding
required to stay off technical rock, rope recommended, descending will likely require rope, severe exposure, likelihood of
death if a fall occurs. Kane: “a climbers scramble”
climbing, techniques including counter pressure are employed, rope and protection
This link may provide more insight into the YDS rating system: