Scrambling is a type of hiking that involves going up steep, rough terrain.  At times, hands are needed and more care is required.    KHC has adopted and slightly modified an accepted system – the Yosemite Classification System:

  • Class 1- walking on trails 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 2.5 – Simple scrambling with the occasional more difficult section and mild exposure.
  • 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 in the wrong place could be serious or even fatal.


KHC mostly offers Class 1 and Class 2 events, but some Class 2.5 is also offered by experienced volunteer Hike Leaders    If a Class 3 section is planned, Hike Leaders are expected to inform potential members within the event listing, to directly communicate the risks and expectations with participants, and to take all the necessary steps for safety.  Hike leaders are volunteers, not trained climbing instructors so anyone who participates in scrambling does so at their own risk.   Any participant can refuse to do a section that they find intimidating or unsafe.   Each of us is responsible for our own safety.

  • 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.


KHC does not normally offer Class 4 and Class 5 events, even though we are insured to do so.

Alpine Scrambles are off-trail trips, often on snow or rock, with a ‘non-technical’ summit as a destination. A non-technical summit is one that is reached without the need for certain types of climbing equipment (body harness, rope, protection hardware, etc), and not involving travel on extremely steep slopes or on glaciers. However, this can mean negotiating lower angle rock, traveling through talus and scree, crossing streams, fighting one’s way through dense brush, and hiking on snow-covered slopes.


KHC does offer some Alpine Scrambles with experienced volunteer hike leaders.

Starting in April, 2017, KHC event listings will have Scrambling Information, where applicable.

For more information, contact the Hike Leader or a Board member of the Club.