Hike Scrambling


Some of our hikes go up areas that are more properly described as “scrambling”.   This is a type of hiking that involves some easier climbing, but there is a range of difficulties so we can use a scale to describe what is required.   The Yosemite Classification System is generally accepted in North America, but we have also added one additional levels (shown in blue).


  • Class 1: Walking with a low chance of injury, hiking boots a good idea.
  • Class 2: Simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger is encountered. Hiking Boots highly recommended.
  • Class 3: Scrambling with increased exposure. Handholds are necessary. A rope should be available for learning climbers, or if you just choose to use one that day, but is usually not required. Falls could cause injury.
  • Class 3.5: Class 3 scrambling but with increased exposure or several sections of scrambling.  
  • Class 4: Simple climbing, with exposure. A rope is often used. Natural protection can be easily found. Falls may well be fatal.
  • Class 5: Is considered technical roped free (without hanging on the rope, pulling on, or stepping on anchors) climbing; belaying, and other protection hardware is used for safety. Un-roped falls can result in severe injury or death.
  • Class 5.0 to 5.15 is used to define progressively more difficult free moves.


  • At this point, almost all of our events are Class 1 and Class 2.   We do have some hikes that have some Class 3 sections.   Skoatl Point, Needle Peak, Trophy Mountain Traverse, and some scrambling sections on local hikes may have Class 3 sections.
  • Hike leaders may restrict registration for events that have more difficult scrambling.
  • KHC does not offer Class 4 or Class 5 events at this time.   Hike leaders need to contact the Board if an event is being considered.
  • The Yosemite system does not include travel on glaciers or on steep snow and ice.    KHC does not offer events that crosses a glacier.
  • KHC is insured (Commercial General Third Party Liability) for hiking and scrambling as part of its official activities.