Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside Area Ramblers

fvft-ramblers.org.uk

SITE NEWS

Welcome to the NEW web site for the Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside Area Ramblers.

New pages, additional content and revisions will be notfied here. The site uses a responsive design, adapting to different devices and screen sizes. . .more

Group pages now show notified alterations and cancellations, for the group, above the list of walks. 07-Dec-17

About Grades

Page in development stage.  content may be added or altered - update/sc 23-Nov-17

Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside Area use a Local grading system to indicate the difficulty of walks - a full list is shown on this page. Most of our walks are covered by the grades D to A. Grades E and A+ are rarely seen.

Walks are infinitely variable and it can often be difficult to decide exactly which grade should be allocated to a given walk. The equation of distance and ascent must be considered of course, but is the ascent gradual and spread across a large part of the walk, or does it come in just one or two steep sections? What is the terrain like? Even level ground can be tiring if there is no path, as in open moorland. Walk leaders are human and will have their own opinions. It is quite possible to see virtually the same walk listed twice in a programme - once as grade C+ and once as grade B.

Why are there two grading systems?

The printed Area Joint Programme [AJP] has long been the main source of information about walks for members in the Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside Area. The local grade system has been the only system used in every edition. All area walks are also featured online in The Ramblers Walks Finder. In September 2014 Ramblers completely changed the system for uploading walks. This new system does not accept entries that do not include a National Grade [whether or not a Local Grade is shown]. This means that all online listings drawn from Ramblers database show both grades, with the National Grade being the choice for uniformity across all groups and areas.

All walks listings on this site are feeds from Ramblers database. This means they are automatically updated when walks are added to the database and any alterations to walks made in the database are shown on this site within minutes. This gives faster and more accurate results than manual updating could achieve. Additionally, walks are automatically removed at the end of the day they take place. Currently the price for this is the inability to filter walks by Local Grade. [It is hoped that it will be possible to filter walks by Local Grade at a future date.]

How do the two grading systems compare?

The Local system has more divisions than the National system and the grade descriptions give an indication of how they relate to the National system.

To look at it from the other side.

The National Grades 'Easy Access', 'Easy' and 'Leisurely' correspond to Local Grades 'E', 'D' and 'C'. 'Moderate' will normally encompass 'C+' and 'B' Local Grades. 'Strenuous' will normally include 'B+' and 'A' Local Grades. I say - normally - because that is the default [1]. WPCs [2] can override these correlations if they, or the walk leader, think that a 'C+' walk should be labelled as 'Leisurely' or a 'B' walk should be 'Strenuous' or whatever. 'Technical' is equivalent to 'A+'. 

 

[1]  WPCs use a bespoke computer application to compile the walks programme for their group. This provides one file [showing only Local Grades] for processing into the Walks Diary of the AJP and another different type of file [including both grades] for upload to Ramblers Walks & Events Manager.
[2]  Walks Programme Coordinator or Walks Secretary.

 

Local Grades

Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside

E     Easy Access Walks for everyone, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs, using easy access paths. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn. Assistance may be needed to push wheelchairs on some sections: visitors are advised to check with the walk leader.

D     Easy Walks for reasonably fit people. May include unsurfaced rural paths. Walking boots or comfortable footwear and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended. 2 to 5 miles.

C     Leisurely, mainly on level ground and often paths and tracks.

C+   Leisurely to moderate, for those with improving fitness, offering some modest challenges.

B     Moderate, demanding higher standards of fitness and stamina than C+.

B+   Between moderate and strenuous, for the reasonably fit. Standard grading for summits taken at a slower pace in summer conditions.

A     Strenuous. For the fit, involving some or all of the following factors: on high or rough ground; with steep ascents and descents; distances over 15 miles.

A+   Severe. Arduous walks for the experienced and very fit, involving some or all of the following factors: high or exposed ground; steep ascents and descents; brisk pace; distance over 15 miles. Standard grading for hill-walking in winter conditions.

Important additional advice
  • Walk gradings are provided as a general guide only. Further details are given in each entry. If you have any doubt about your fitness for a particular walk please contact the organiser or leader in advance.
  • Bear in mind the distance of the walk, differences in terrain and the possibility of bad weather, which can make a walk more difficult than planned.
  • If you're unsure of your fitness level, try a short and easy walk first - it's much better to find a walk a little too slow and easy than to make yourself miserable and exhausted.
  • Leaders may refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit.

Walks difficulty - National Grades

How easy is this walk?

Easy Access Easy Access - walks for everyone, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs, using easy access paths. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn. Assistance may be needed to push wheelchairs on some sections, please contact the group running the walk for details.

Easy Easy - walks for anyone who does not have a mobility difficulty, a specific health problem or is seriously unfit. Suitable for pushchairs if they can be lifted over occasional obstructions. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn.
Leisurely Leisurely - walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include unsurfaced rural paths. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended.
Moderate Moderate - walks for people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness. May include some steep paths and open country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
Strenuous Strenuous - walks for experienced country walkers with an above average fitness level. May include hills and rough country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential. People in doubt about their fitness should contact the organiser or leader in advance.
Technical Technical - walks for experienced and very fit walkers with additional technical skills. May require scrambling and use of ice axes or crampons. You must contact the organiser or leader in advance for further details.
Important additional advice
  • Walk gradings are provided as a general guide only. If you have any doubt about your fitness for a particular walk please contact the organiser or leader in advance.
  • Bear in mind the distance of the walk, regional differences in terrain and the possibility of bad weather, which can make a walk more difficult than planned.
  • If you're unsure of your fitness level, try a short and easy walk first - it's much better to find a walk a little too slow and easy than to make yourself miserable and exhausted.
  • Leaders may refuse to accept participants who in their opinion are inadequately equipped or unfit.

Forth Valley, Fife & Tayside use their own local grading system. See the other panel on this page.

Friday, December 15, 2017