Trekking

Bikat Rating Scale

Ritvij Kumar

Last updated: 10-01-2017

Rating a trek is not easy considering the fact that there are so many external factors (climatic) at play. However imperfect it may be, but we decided to at least put some structure to it. So we listed the factors that mostly constitute in determining difficulty of a trek.

  1. Geographical Features:
    • Total duration of the trek

    • Highest altitude to be gained

    • Gradient of incline & decline on trails

    • Availability/Non availability of vital resources like water, vegetation, etc.

    • Technical Mountain Features like hard snow patches, ice sections, etc.

Caveat - Remote mountain regions are prone to incidents impacting the geographical features or trail on the treks. So, while we have considered the features as they exist as of now, sudden changes may affect the trails on any trek directly impacting the rating of the trek.

  1. Climatic Conditions: 
    • Temperatures encountered

    • Rainfall probability

    • Snowfall probability

    • Average Wind speed encountered (if high wind areas are part of the trail)

Caveat - The rating scale below has considered the typical climatic conditions during the typical season of a trek. The climatic conditions in the high altitude regions are very volatile and drastic change in the parameters listed above can seriously affect a trek’s rating.

  1. Relativity – No rating scale can be absolute. As the age old game of shortening a line without touching it suggests, a bigger line in front can always be there to make the other one look smaller! Important thing to note here is that for Bikat, trekking is no leisure travel but a stepping stone to the bigger thing – Climbing real mountains and peaks.

The table below shows a compilation of all treks and expeditions we have in our range as of now:

Activity Name No.of Days Typical Season Max. Altitude(M) Grade Grade Classification
Nag Tibba Trek 3 Dec – Apr 3000 1 Easy
Bali Pass Trek 8 May,Sept,Oct 4950 6 Difficult
Friendship Peak Expedition 8 May, Jun, Sep 5289 7 Difficult
Beas Kund Trek 3 May, Aug-Sept 3700 2 Easy
Tirthan Valley Trek 3 May,June,Sept,Oct 3100 2 Easy
Khauli Pass Trek 3 Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov 3750 4 Moderate
Chandrakhani Pass Trek 3 Apr-June 3540 2 Easy
Panwali Kantha Trek 4 March-Mid April 3500 3 Easy
Bhrigu Lake Trek 3 May, Aug-Sept 4260 2 Easy
Kuari Pass Trek 4 Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar 3876 3 Easy
Dayara Bugyal Trek 4 Apr, Aug, Sep 3000 1 Easy
Dodital & Darwa Top Trek 4 May, Jun, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec 4150 3 Easy
Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek 4 Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr 4000 2 Easy
Hampta Pass Trek 5 June, Aug, Sep, Oct 4300 4 Moderate
Har ki Dun Trek 5 Feb - Nov 3500 3 Easy
Roopkund Trek 5 May, Jun, Aug, Sep 4785 5 Moderate Plus
Valley of Flowers Trek 5 June,July,Aug 4390 3 Easy
Kedarkantha Trek 5 Dec,Jan,Feb 3810 2 Easy
Pangarchulla Peak Trek 6 Apr, May, Jun 4510 4 Moderate
Deo Tibba Base Camp Trek 6 June, Aug, Sep, Oct 4480 4 Moderate
Vasuki Tal Meru Glacier Trek 7 Sep, Oct 4800 6 Difficult
Rupin Pass Trek 8 May – Jun, Sep – Oct 4650 5 Moderate Plus
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek 8 July, Aug 4200 4 Moderate
Markha Valley Trek 8 Jun, July, Aug 5200 5 Moderate Plus
Stok kangri Trek 9 Jun, July, Aug 6152 7 Difficult
Goecha la Trek 9 Mar – Dec 4950 5 Moderate Plus
Pin Parwati Pass Trek 10 July –Sep 5320 6 Difficult
Gangotri III Exploratory Expedition 16 May, Sep 6577 8 Difficult
Manali Chandratal Cycle Expedition 5 July – Sep 4300 5 Moderate Plus
Manali Leh Cycle Expedition 11 July – Sep 5360 7 Difficult
Ladakh Multi Activity Adventure 6 Jun, July, Aug 4971 5 Moderate Plus
Brahmatal Trek 6 May,June,Sept-Dec 3810 3 Easy
Chadar Trek 9 Jan,Feb 3415 4 Moderate
Ruinsara Taal Trek 6 Feb - Nov 3500 4 Moderate
Sandakphu Trek 7 Mar – Dec 3636 4 Moderate
Nanda Devi Base Camp Trek 10 May,June,Sept,Oct 3900 5 Moderate Plus
Auden's Col Trek 14 June 5400 7 Difficult
Borasu Pass Trek 9 May,Sept,Oct 5250 6 Difficult
Dharansi Pass Trek 8 May,Sept,Oct 4190 5 Moderate Plus

As you can see for yourself, we don’t have any 10 here! That is because a 10 for would be something like an expedition to Mount K2. So, we are growing up still for perfecting our 8s as of now and exploring our 9s. The list will soon grow :)

Human Factor

Now what is easy for me is difficult for many and what is a cake walk for them proves very difficult for me. So, it is important to consider yourself into this scale. What we have compiled is based on our calibration based on averages but you are not equal to average. You might be right/left/center/above/below the mean! The point is that the rating in any table is like a pair of boots that can never climb anything on its own, it’s only the feet that go inside them that start climbing. So, read the rating for yourself and assess them based on your experience.

Those who are beginning their journey of exploring mountains on feet, may choose to start at the bottom of the scale, test the waters there and form an experience before they start to plan for bigger things ahead.

How to read the rating table above

Don’t just look at the rating of your planned trek. Look a notch above and below to compare for yourself. Read not just about your planned trek but also about some of the treks defined easier or more difficult than that. This would give a much better context.

It is very important to prepare yourself for one or two notches above so that what you have planned becomes truly easy for you.

Ritvij Kumar

A nature lover, "argumentative" person, I work as a Partner at Bikat Adventures and love to explore. Read more

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