At 360 we use a Physicality and Technicality grading system (PT) to give an overview of the expedition for both the general fitness required and technical skills expected. The grades used are numbered 1 – 7 with 1 being easiest and 7 most difficult. Please note that the grading system used is a rough guide only.
An overview of the physical fitness required.
Gentle walking over relatively flat terrain. A light day sack up to 4kg may be required to be carried. Suitable for those with minimal exercise experience.
Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.
This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.
Sustained physical effort calls for a state of high conditioning. You should already have experience of tough challenges (P3) and be regularly training as part of your normal routine. Expect days of up to 8 hours and longer while carrying a pack up to 8-14kg in weight. Summit night could be easily in excess of 12 hours.
Superlative fitness is called for. Regular, long and intense physical training is required for preparation. Expect long days on the hill of 10-15 hours in testing weather conditions (especially summit day) carrying up to 15-20kg in weight, and/or pulling a pulk with exceptional weight.
Extremely physically demanding. Heavy pack weights and long days combine to test you to the limit. Not for the faint hearted. Long days of 10 hours plus with pack weights up to 20-25kg means that sheer exhaustion is likely. When in Nepal pack weight is greatly reduced due to help from porters.
You will be pushed physically to the limit and then beyond. Long and arduous preparation is required before this expedition. Expect to be carrying pack weights up to 25kg. Be prepared for very long, sustained days with hours well into double figures on a regular basis. Discomfort to achieve your goal is to be expected.
The technical ability needed.
No technical skills are needed. A good steady walking ability only is required.
Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.
May involve harder scrambling or some trekking and climbing with ropes. If snow is encountered then glacier travel with ropes, ice axes and crampons will be necessary. Basic climbing skills are ideal, but these will also be taught (and certainly practiced) during the expedition and pre-summit phase.
A good grounding in Alpine climbing is ideal. Knowledge of basic knots and ropework with a background in Scottish Winter II or Alpine PD. Competence in use of crampons and self arrest techniques is preferable. All still will be re-taught and practiced in situ.
Competent Alpine climbing ability. Should be comfortable on Scottish Winter III ground or Alpine AD. Complete understanding and confidence in use of your technical kit will be required.
Expect punchy sections of more technical rock climbing or prolonged Alpine climbing at Scottish Winter III or Alpine AD. Good skills on rock or ice are paramount.
Long periods of hard technical climbing. Exposed routes and big drop offs need to be navigated. Full independence of use of all technical kit is required.