These simple tables should be of help in deciding on what your effective level of technical competence is in mountaineering and ski-mountaineering. Many of you will probably find them useless and/or incomplete, but our aim is to help enthusiasts to understand in what areas they feel technically independent and where, on the other hand, they may need more instruction in order to improve. An area dealing with personal experience is evidently missing here, but being so subjective it cannot be listed. Please bear in mind, however, that technique alone in the mountains is not sufficient to guarantee you safe mountaineering outings. In reality, there’s a whole lot of knowledge that one acquires only by being continuous in these sports and, in particular, by being with experts who will teach you. The programmes matched with the levels of competence have been specifically devised so that participants can improve and acquire a higher level of technical competence, in a gradual and regular manner. These are just a few of the options available with Horizon Montagne. We are open to any suggestions or proposals, however, that may satisfy your aspirations. Now take a look at your level of technical competence….
Trekking ability Levels
Level 1. No previous trekking experience is necessary, but you need to be an active hillwalker. You should consider training prior to your trek, as typically you will be walking between 4–6 hours per day over several consecutive days and usually at high altitude. Be prepared for rough and rocky trails and the occasional snow patch.
Level 2. Challenging | These adventures involve trekking in remote areas for up to 8-10 hours a day, possibly more. With remoteness comes potential to encounter variable weather conditions. Be prepared to carry a full pack weighing up to 20kgs and be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions and remote locations where evacuation may be very difficult.
Level 3. Entry level mountaineering / Exploratory Treks | They involve either extreme trekking and basic mountaineering. Expect remote and poorly defined trails in variable weather conditions for up to 12 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). This may include a number of demanding high pass crossings and evacuation may be difficult from remote areas. Prior experience trekking at altitude is preferable but not essential and you should be comfortable in adverse weather conditions. Prior technical mountaineering experience is not necessary. Terrain will involve low angle snow slopes. Ropes may be used during treks for glacier travel and steeper sections of ice and snow.