Hike Grading

We use the Norwegian national standard for hike grading, which grades trails based on the total elevation gain, total distance, steepness, walking surface, and obstructions. More information (in Norwegian) is available at merkehandboka.no. This is our translation of the 2019 national standard:

Easy Hike Easy

The hike requires no special abilities, and is suitable for beginning hikers. The route may be up to 5 km long, with up to 300 m of elevation gain. There may be moderate ascents, but no steep sections. The walking surface is firm and solid, with no major obstructions or fords. 

Moderate Hike Moderate

The hike requires a little hiking experience, moderate stamina, and basic outdoor skills. The route may be up to 10 km long, with up to 600 meters of elevation gain. It has moderate slopes, and may have some steep, demanding sections. Some sections may seem precipitous for hikers with a fear of heights. The walking surface may be rocky, but does not go on scree. There may be easy fords.

Demanding Hike Demanding

The hike requires hiking experience and good stamina. It also requires good hiking boots and equipment. You must be able to use a map and compass. The route may be up to 20 km long, with up to 1000 meters of elevation gain. There may be steep slopes and several precipitous sections. The walking surface may be loose and rocky, and there may be long sections of bog or scree. There may be fords and obstructions that require scrambling or using hands for support.

Very Demanding Hike Very Demanding

The hike is suitable only for experienced mountaineers with good stamina. It requires good hiking boots and equipment. You must be able to use a map and compass. The route has steep and technically difficult sections. The walking surface is uneven. The trail may go on narrow ridges, bare rock, or scree. Some sections may require exposed scrambling. There may be demanding fords.

The table from the trail marking handbook which gives the guidelines for trail grading. Click to enlarge.