The Walk Grading System

Choosing Your Activity

When you prepare for your first walk you need to be very mindful of your own abilities so it is best to be cautious in selecting your first walk until you learn what your capabilities are in relation to the grading system. Be aware that what might be casually described as easy by more experienced bushwalkers may be a little more challenging for the inexperienced. There is nothing more disheartening than to find yourself on a walk where everyone else is used to jumping from rock to rock and you are not.

You are most welcome to ring the Members Officer or email our Outings Officer to inquire on the nature of the walk and the equipment required.

New Grading System

YHA Bushies has redesigned its grading system based on that used by Brisbane Bushwalkers to determine suitability of walks for participants. The system is based on four classifications:

Activity Type – Abbreviated
Distance grade – Abbreviated
Terrain Difficulty grade – 1 to 9, ascending in order of difficulty
Fitness grade – A to E, ascending in order of difficulty.

The grading is comprised of the activity type and three characters: distance, terrain and fitness level. You can download a PDF copy of the gradings here.

Example: A suitable walk for beginners is the Lower Bellbird Circuit at Binna Burra in Lamington National Park which is a 13km graded track walk. This particular activity is a DW with a grading of M3B.

The classification and grading means that this is a Day Walk, of Medium length in distance, with a Terrain difficulty of 3 and a Fitness grade of B.

Self-Assessment

Participants are responsible for ensuring they are capable of doing the walk for which they nominate.

Easier walks: A terrain grade of 1 – 3 is suitable for beginners and inexperienced walkers.

Moderate walks: A terrain grade of 4 and higher requires increasing degrees of self-reliance.

Difficult walks: A terrain grade of 7 and higher requires accurate self-assessment of ability before undertaking difficult day walks and off track through walks.

Participants are encouraged to contact the walk leader and discuss fitness and skill levels if they are in any doubt.

Classification Tables

Activity Types Table
CODENAMEDESCRIPTION
ABSAbseilingControlled descent of a vertical drop, such as a rock face.
BCBase CampStaying at a location and using it as a base for walks.
BKBike Trip 
CTCanoe Trip 
DWDay Walk 
½ DW½ Day WalkIncludes full moon walk.
SVYSurveyExplore new locations or those not visited for some time, for suitability to use for DW, TW, etc.
ExtExtended Trip2 to 3-week trip.
MtgMeetingClub meetings are held on the 1st Wednesday of each month, except January which is the 2nd Wednesday, at St James Hall, Kirkland Avenue, Coorparoo. Mtgs start at 7.30pm.
SocSocial activityE.g. dinner, Xmas Party, etc.
S&TSafety & TrainingActivity conducted to increase skill levels.
TWThrough WalkOvernight or multi-day walk.
WBCWalk-in Base CampWalk in to a location, carrying camping gear, and use it as a base for walks.

Other abbreviations that may be used on the calendar:

BWQBushwalking Qld Inc
LWELong Weekend
FMRFederation Mountain Rescue
PHPublic Holiday
Distance Grade Table
CODENAMEDISTANCE
SShortLess than 10 km per day
MMedium10 – 15 km per day
LLong15 – 20 km per day
XExtra LongOver 20 km per day
Terrain Difficulty Grade Table
CODEDESCRIPTION
1Smooth reasonably flat path.
2Graded path/track with minor obstacles.
3Graded track with obstacles such as rock, roots, fallen debris or creek crossings.
4Rough unformed track or open terrain with obstacles such as rock, roots, fallen debris or creek crossings.
5Rough or rocky terrain with small climbs using hands or rock hopping.
6Steep, rough or rocky terrain with large climbs using hands or rock hopping.
7Climb/descend steep rock using hands or footholds. May be some exposure. Good upper body strength.
8Climb/descend near vertical rock with exposure. Climbing skills may be required.
9Sustained climbing or descending of vertical or near vertical rock with exposure. Advanced climbing skills required. Good upper body strength.
Fitness Grade Table
CODEDESCRIPTION
ABasic – Generally suitable for new walkers. Capable of walking up to four hours and possibly minor hills. Slower pace with frequent breaks.
BEasy – Capable of walking 4-6 hours and up to 300m of elevation gain/loss per day.
CModerate – Capable of walking 6-8 hours and up to 600m of elevation gain/loss per day.
DHigh – High fitness, endurance and agility required. Capable of walking up to eight hours and up to 1000m of elevation gain/loss per day.
EChallenging – Very high fitness, endurance and agility required. Capable of walking up to or more than twelve hours and greater than 1000m of elevation gain/loss per day.

How to enter walk details on the on-line calendar

Click to download the pdf document Guide–on-line-calendar.pdf

Bushwalk database

Click to download the pdf document Extract SEQ Walks (instructions included)