Made popular by Volodia Shahshahani, the grading system includes three grades: a technical downhill (skiing) grade, an up-hill grade and an exposure grade.
Grades give a relative indication of the requirements of a route or itinerary, under normal conditions. Actual difficulties are of course highly dependent on the conditions (weather, ice…) as well as on the fitness and technical abilities of the party. Unlike a grade, which is constant for a given itinerary, difficulties can thus change considerably from one day to the next.
Technical skiing grade for the downhill portion of the itinerary.
The grade includes 5 levels. The first four have three subdivisions. ie 2.1 or 2.2 or 2.3
Slopes do not exceed 30° with no narrow sections. Vertical descent is less than 800m.
Slopes do not exceed 35° with no narrow sections. Vertical descent is less than 800m.
Long slopes at 35° with very short sections at 40-45°
slopes between 40 and 45° over more than 200m vertical
Starts with slopes of 45°-50° during more than 300m vertical or above 50° for more than 100m vertical
This is the traditional rating system used for mountaineering on snow-covered terrain based on the UIAA system. It can be useful for ski tours especially on steeper ground especially if covering ground that is not skiable such as rock bands etc.
ski 1 and 2.1, 2.2 (in certain cases 2.3).
ski 2.1 if on a glacier, otherwise from ski 2.3 to 3.2(sometimes 3.3).
ski 3.3 to 4.2 (sometimes 4.3).
ski 4.3 to 5.2.
Exposure grade covers the exposure and ski of the route
The grade includes 4 levels.
Exposure is limited to that of the slope itself. Getting hurt is still likely if the slope is steep and/or the snow is hard.
As well as the slope itself, there are some obstacles (such as rock outcrops) which could aggravate
In case of a fall, death is highly likely.
In case of a fall, the skier faces certain death.