The following is a rating system that the Sheep River Ramblers use as a reference to determine the difficulty of hikes.
When Rambler hikes are posted they include a "Hike Rating". The Sheep River Ramblers rating system is to be used as a reference to determine the difficulty of hikes. If you are planning to join a hike you can refer to the information below to decide if you have the skills and abilities to complete the hike.
We ask you to do this to ensure your safety and the safety of others who will be doing the hike. If you are unsure, we suggest that you contact the hike facilitator to discuss your participation.
Hikes with this rating are really more of a walk than a hike. These are done on paved paths or dirt roads that are maintained year round. There might be gentle grades, but the hike will not exceed approximately 3 km in length.
A minimum amount of equipment, other than good walking shoes, is required for an EASY hike.
An example of an EASY hike would be from the Sheep River Library on the Friendship Trail to a point about half way to Black Diamond and then back to the library. Sandy McNabb Interpretive Trail or a walk on a golf course would also fit this category.
These hikes are generally on existing trails, but might include walking through grassy fields or treed areas. There will likely be some obstacles, such as ruts, tree roots or small rocks that require a certain degree of stability and balance to negotiate. The hike could include some gentle hills, but no sections that would be considered as "scary" by most people. A hike rated as BEGINNER will be approximately 3-6 km long.
Good hiking shoes, appropriate clothing and a backpack with several necessities are required for BEGINNER hikes.
Hikes of 3-6 km in the High Noon Hills area, Brown-Lowery Provincial Park would fit this category.
Hikes with this rating will likely be on trails that have obstacles such as ruts, tree roots and small rocks. These hikes might also go into areas where there are no marked trails (i.e. some bushwhacking). Creek crossings, steep hills and considerable elevation increases/decreases are likely. Locations considered "scary" by some people could be encountered, but will be avoided if possible for safety reasons. Hikers in poor physical condition will not fare well on these hikes.
Good hiking shoes, appropriate clothing and a well-equipped backpack are recommended for INTERMEDIATE hikes. Use of a navigation device (GPS and/or maps/compass) is highly recommended.
Intermediate hikes can be from approximately 4-5 km long to 14-15 km long. Ptarmigan Cirque, Elbow Lake, Grass Pass and Picklejar Lakes hikes would all be considered as INTERMEDIATE.
These hikes are, as the name implies, for experienced and physically fit hikers. They will be long (at least 10 km) and/or involve significant elevation changes. There could be steep grades, bushwhacking, cliffs, scree, boulders etc. People who are afraid of heights might find these hikes particularly difficult.
To attempt a hike with an ADVANCED rating, hikers should have good footwear, appropriate clothing, a well-equipped backpack, navigational experience (maps, compass, GPS) and enough knowledge/experience to survive any emergency situation that could arise.
Tent Ridge, Pocaterra Ridge, Mount Glasgow, Table Mountain are all examples of hikes in the ADVANCED category.