Ever see a letter and number (for example, B2) next to a trip and wonder what it means? This rating system helps you understand the time and skills required for a trip.

Letter = Time and elevation gain

A = Not strenuous (1-4 hrs, 600m elevation gain, day pack)
B = Moderately strenuous (2-6 hrs, 600-1200m elevation gain, day or overnight pack)
C = Strenuous (4-10 hrs, 1000-2000m elevation gain, day or overnight pack)
D = Very strenuous and multiple days

Number = Terrain [Winter]

1 = Hiking, mainly trails [Gentle slopes]
2 = Scrambling, travel off trail [Moderate slopes]
3 = Easy climbing, rope if required [Mountainous terrain, may involve steep forest and/or roped glacier travel]
4 = Belaying easy holds, climbing experience [Difficult mountainous terrain. Advanced backcountry experience]
5 = Leader protection, hardware required
6 = Direct aid climbing


Here are a few examples of popular trails and climbs to help you get a sense of the rating system. Please note that times, ratings and avalanche hazard vary with weather and ground conditions.

  • Fleming Beach, Esquimalt. Rock climbing (A5)
  • Mt. Wells 352 m. Easy hiking. (A1) and rock climbing (A5)
  • Mt. Douglas 227 m. Easy hiking.(A1)
  • Mt. Work 446 m. < 2 hours round trip. Easy hiking. (A1)
  • Mt. Finlayson 416 m. < 2 hours round trip. (A1) Short steep rocky sections.
  • Mt. Landale 1537 m. and El Capitan 1493 m. 6 hours. Steep rocky sections. (B2) Gated.
  • Mt. Whymper 1541 m. Moderate/strenuous long hike.(B2) Gated.
  • Mt. Becher 1380 m. 5-6 hour round trip hike or ski. (B2)
  • Mt. Arrowsmith 1819 m. Judge s Route 5-6 hours round trip. (B3) Steep hiking. Crampons and ice axe in winter
  • Mt. Klitsa 1642 m. 5-6 hours round trip. (C3) Crampons & ice axe.
  • Mt. Albert Edward 2094 m. 10- 12 hours or overnight ski or hiking trip. (C3)
  • Mt. Baker, USA 3285 m. 10 hour ski or hiking trip from base camp on crevassed glacier (C3)