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The degrees of difficulty of the trails
and hikings

The 4 abbreviations of the CAI scale are used to differentiate the effort required by the excursion-type itineraries. EndlessExperiences will never offer experiences with an EEA degree of difficulty. We also indicate our degree of difficulty between 1 and 10.

CAI scale










Itineraries on small roads, mule tracks or wide paths, with short, clearly visible routes that do not pose uncertainties or orientation problems. They usually take place below 2000 meters. They require a certain knowledge of the mountain environment and physical preparation for the walk.

Itineraries that wind on terrains of all kinds, or on evident traces of passage in various terrains (pastures, debris, stony ground), usually with signs; there may be short flat or slightly inclined stretches of residual snow where, in the event of a fall, the slide stops in a short space and without danger. Sometimes they develop on open land, without paths but not problematic, always with adequate signs. They can take place on steep slopes, where however the exposed sections are generally protected or secured (cables). They can have single passages, or short sections on rock, which are not exposed, neither tiring nor demanding, thanks to the presence of equipment (ladders, pegs, cables) which however do not require the use of specific equipment (harness, carabiners, etc.). They require a certain sense of direction, as well as some experience and knowledge of the alpine environment, walking training, as well as suitable footwear and equipment. They make up the vast majority of hiking trails in the Italian mountains.

These are generally signposted itineraries but which imply an ability to move on particular terrains. Paths or tracks on impervious and treacherous terrain (steep and/or slippery slopes of grass, or mixtures of rocks and grass, or rocks and debris). Varied terrain, at relatively high altitudes (stone fields, short non-steep snowfields, open slopes without reference points, etc.). Rocky stretches, with slight technical difficulties (equipped routes, via ferratas among those of lesser effort). On the other hand, routes on glaciers are excluded, even if flat and/or apparently without crevasses (because crossing them would require the use of a rope and an ice ax, as well as knowledge of the relative belaying manoeuvres). They require: general mountain experience and good knowledge of the alpine environment; sure-footedness and no vertigo; adequate equipment, gear and physical preparation. For the equipped routes it is also necessary to know the use of self-insurance devices (carabiners, dissipator, harness, lanyards).

This acronym is used for certain equipped routes or via ferratas, in order to warn the hiker in advance that the itinerary requires the use of self-insurance devices.






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