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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.
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.
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.
T Technical outings requiring specialized skills as identified in the sponsoring group’s safety policy.

[Header photo by Alan Fein]