Safety and Skill Level Ratings

Activities and Outings Skill Level Rating Codes

The Chapter Safety Committee has established the following classifications for all Chapter sponsored outings to differentiate the levels of skill required of participants and the event leaders. This classification does not relate to outing strenuousness.

C For events conducted by a non-Sierra Club entity (i.e. Concessionaire)
O Applies to a variety of uncomplicated outings (i.e., city walks, bike rides, trail hikes, backpacking.) May involve simple off trail hiking not requiring navigation skills. Climbing level: "Class 1" terrain. Backpacking at the O level is on-trail and is designated as O-2.
I Includes outings that involve cross-country travel where navigation is necessary. Rougher ground than "O" outings may be traversed, and the use of hands for balance may be necessary. Includes outings that have snow travel or skiing on easy terrain. Climbing level: "Class 2" terrain.
M Includes Moderate level climbing: "Class 3" terrain. On rock, the hands are used for climbing. Some participants may want a safety belay. On snow, safety dictates the use of ice axes and the ability to self-arrest. For leaders, M is also divided into M-Rock and M-Snow. Some outings are Restricted (MR) and special requirements are set, including Club membership and appropriate skills.
E More exposed than an M outing. Climbing on "Class 4" terrain. Rock climbs will use a rope for all in the party. On snow, steeper terrain than M outings is permissible, and safety dictates the use of crampons. E-Rock and E-Snow are ratings hat leaders can attain. These are all restricted outings. 
T Technical outings requiring specialized skills as identified in the sponsoring group’s safety policy.

[Off we go!/Satwiwa Hike Winter 2017, Header photo credit: by Jane Simpson]

Off we go!/Satwiwa Hike Winter 2017