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SAC-BSAC Mountain and alpine tour ratings

L (E - Easy)

Rock: easy hiking grounds (scree, easy block ridge) UIAA rating: from I Firn and Glacier: easy firn slopes, hardly any crevasses Tour examples: Wildhorn normal route

WS (LD - Little Difficult)

Rock: mostly hiking grounds, advanced surefootedness needed, climbing sections are easy and without problems UIAA rating: from II Firn and Glacier: usually only a few steep slopes, short steeper sections, only a few crevasses Tour examples: Balmhorn normal route

ZS (QD - Quite Difficult)

Rock: Repeated belay necessary, quite long and exposed climbing sections UIAA rating: from III Firn and Glacier: slopes quite steep, sometimes belay station necessary, a lot of crevasses, little bergschrund Tour examples: Diamantstock East Ridge

S (D - Difficult)

Rock: good sense for the route and efficient handling of the rope needed, long climbing sections, belay stations needed most of the time UIAA rating: from IV Firn and Glacier: very steep slopes, belay stations needed most of the time, a lot of crevasses, big bergschrund Tour examples: Eiger Middle-Egi Ridge

SS (VD - Very Difficult)

Rock: in difficult sections belay stations always needed, continuous challenging climbing UIAA rating: from V Firn and Glacier: continuous steep grounds, belay station always needed Tour examples: Doldenhorn East Ridge

AS (ED - Exceptionally Difficult)

Rock: wall sections which require a lot of dedication UIAA rating: from VI Firn and Glacier: very steep and vertical sections, require ice climbing Tour examples: Eiger North Face

EX (XD - Extremely Difficult)

Rock: extremely steep, sometimes overhanging wall sections UIAA rating: VII and more Firn and Glacier: most extreme ice climbing Tour examples: Eiger Czech route


  1. For the overall assessment of the rating of a route the maximum rating of the main categories is used
  2. Starting with the rating WS one can use + or – in order to fine tune the rating
  3. Starting with WS, in the description header indicate if there are larger discrepancies within the route: ZS+, ascent to the peak ridge WS”.
  4. If one auxiliary criteria is present, the rating is increased by 1/3 (for example WS+ to ZS-), if there are several auxiliary criteria, the rating is increased by 2/3 (from S+ to SS).
  5. For climbing sections the UIAA ratings are used (Roman numbers)
  6. AS-routes are sometimes mentioned in the tour guide, EX hardly ever

Auxiliary Criteria

  • Challenging orientation
  • Difficult belay
  • Undependable rock
  • Termination of the tour is problematic

(Tany thanks to 360 for translation!!! Source in German)

Published by Stani™, 23 April 2007, 12h12.