Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beaufort Trail Ratings

I don't want people to think I'm a very knowledgeable hiker. I have no serious ambitions to hike any of the world's big trails, but I do enjoy getting out for a few days of walking. I do believe that hikers would benefit from better descriptions of what lies out there along their intended route. At sea, we have the Beaufort Wind Scale. What do hikers have?

Hiking trails have a high variability of conditions along the way. What might begin as an easy walk can suddenly turn into something quite different. Here are a few Beaufort style suggestions using photos I took when in the Moosehead Lake area last week. What do you think?

Trail Condition 1
Trail is like a mirror with few, if any, ripples.

Trail Condition 2
Trail broken by some surface roots, but remains more or less even, with some increasing slope.

Trail Condition 3
Large roots in trail, rock outcrops beginning to appear, increasing slope and unevenness, scattered hazards, few handholds.

Trail Condition 4
Trail heaps up, short vertical rock faces begin to appear in places along route.

Of course, this is a bit 'tongue in cheek' and not fully expanded, but a fun exercise nonethless.


Silbs said...

Brilliant. Michael's Canadian Hiking Scale (MCHS)

Michael said...


bonnie said...


Richard Hayes said...

Michael- Having just completed our annual 25k Duke of Ed hike, I really enjoyed your rating scale! I should have seen it before starting out!! Chris