TRAIL MARKING AND DIFFICULTY RATING TO KNOW WHEN HIKING IN ITALY

Hike Italy, Trail Marking and Signs

TRAIL SIGNS USED IN ITALY

Along the mountain hiking trails in Italy, the hiker can find three types of signs at all the main points.

  1. Painted triangle with the High Altitude Trail number inside; this type of sign is a little less common than the following;
  2. Path sign consisting of two horizontal red stripes with a white stripe in the middle on which you can find the path number in black. Along paths that require more frequent signs, in between those above you can find simple red or red and white signs.
  3. Wooden chart signs on fixed poles (old types in metal).

The coordination of signposts on the network of alpine paths in most Regions of Italy is constantly monitored, sector by sector. Where the triangles, path signs and charts are found to be in poor condition and thus difficult or impossible to see, the hiker should pay careful attention to the indications from guides, local maps, and have a good knowledge of land navigation skills.

RATING THE TRAIL DIFFICULTY OF HIKES IN ITALY

A scale of difficulty for different mountain routes has also been introduced for hiking.  All hiikers, should learn the rating scale and take seriously so that they are able to avoid unpleasant surprises.  The Trail Difficulty Scale involves four distinct grades of difficulty:

T: Tourist path. Easy path or forest road, not very long, very evident not posing problems with bearing.

E: Hiking, Path without technical difficulties on variable ground, even rough and bumpy and at time steep; can sometimes include prepared crossings which do not require special equipment; most of the paths in the Dolomites belong to this category.

EE: for Expert Hikers. Marked path, over more treacherous ground, at altitudes even elevated, with open stretches which call for sure footing and no dizziness. Prepared stretches call for the correct equipment (karabiners, metal friction plates, harness and ropes).

EEA: for Equipped Expert Hikers. These are routes and prepared paths with frequent open stretches , difficult also because they are long and high up; they call for the know how of safety measures (helmet, metal friction plates, ropes and karabiners). Using these aids must not make you forget that you are moving in a high mountain environment.

With all these rating and understanding it is still necessary to remember that if you feel unsure you should undertake the route with an Alpine guide.

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