A Word of Cau­tion

Backpacker - - The Survival Issue -

The trips here are grand, but they’re not the places to test un­proven skills. Most of these hikes re­quire class 3 scram­bling, mean­ing the ter­rain is steep, but hand- and footholds are abun­dant. (If you can han­dle heights, you can han­dle class 3.) Be wary of class 4 ter­rain, which re­quires three points of contact (ropes rec­om­mended), and, of course, class 5 ter­rain, which re­quires straightup climb­ing and full gear. Via fer­ratas are a class of their own: Lit­er­ally “iron ways,” these routes travel ver­ti­cal ter­rain by way of rungs, rail­ings, and aids. They al­ways re­quire a har­ness, hel­met, and some com­bi­na­tion of slings, lock­ing cara­bin­ers, and/or lob­ster claws to clip in.

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