Walk Grades – A Guide

A Guide to Grades of Walks

The following description of walk grades are guidelines only. Please be aware that the time taken for a walk will be influenced by a number of factors e.g. the weather conditions, the terrain, the number on the walk etc. In general, all walks will be of a shorter duration during the winter months.

Walk Grades

Hiking to Carrauntoohil via O’Sheas Gully


“D” Walk or Easy Walk

These are at an easy pace with frequent breaks, with a total ascent of 300-600m and a distance of 6 to 8 kilometres. Often these will be low-level walks on paths and tracks with straightforward conditions underfoot. There will be sections of both ascent and descent, but these are usually brief and not sustained. These will be taken at a leisurely pace and are suitable for those that enjoy walking and are in good health with a reasonable level of fitness. Duration 3-5 hours.


“C” Walk or Short Walk

A reasonable pace with regular breaks covering an average distance of 12 kilometres with a height gain of 800-900m (approx). The walk takes place in the mountain environment and does require a reasonable level of fitness. There may be a considerable amount of ascent and descent and elements of brief, easy scrambling may also be involved. Suitable for most regular hillwalkers who have a reasonable level of fitness. Some days may be more challenging than others. Duration 4-6 hours.


“B” Walk or Moderate Walk

Good pace with few breaks, a total ascent of 700-1000m (approx.) and a distance of 12 to 16 kilometres. This walk requires a good level of physical fitness and stamina. These walks involve challenging and mountainous terrain, as well as sustained periods of both ascent and descent. Elements of scrambling are also likely. Duration 5-7 hours.


“A” Walk or Long Walk

Strenuous, fast pace, with a total ascent of 1,000m or more and a distance of up to 18kms. This grade of walk requires a high level of fitness and stamina and may include walking over difficult terrain in isolated areas. These walks will involve some or all of the following factors: high or rough ground; steep ascents and descents; distances over 15 miles. Duration: 7 to 10 hours