Trip ratings

The current trip rating system lists tramps as 'easy', 'moderate' or 'hard'. Comments from members suggest that it's often a struggle to relate these classifications to the actual trips.

To help us all, a revised system is proposed. This will use six well known characters to suggest the type of person who might enjoy the trip (or the company one might find oneself in).

The characteristics of these 'indicative trampers' are outlined below:

  1. Pooh Bear. Pooh is what DOC might classify as a 'recreational tramper' (if they do not classify him as noxious exotic introduced species). Pooh likes a stroll in the woods, gentle countryside - nothing too strenuous in the way of ups and downs - convivial company, . . . honey . . . Water hazards, large trees with bees' nests, and complicated route finding are un-Pooh-like Big Adventures.
  2. Lady Penelope [Thunderbirds are go!]. Has far too many other things going on to dedicate herself to tramping every weekend, and prefers to avoid struggling with too much untracked bush, loose rock, precipitous ledges, or deep mud. Has large amounts of up-to-date polypro, and likes a bit of adventure - the odd universe to save mid-tramp perhaps?
  3. Lassie. Lassie will go out in most conditions provided that she has a good group to tramp with. Surefooted (even allowing for the natural advantage of 4 of them) and usually able to look after herself (including finding the way home) but prefers following to leading. Not so keen on crampons, harnesses, ropes and big packs though.
  4. Tin Tin. Likes adventures and that getting-slightly-lost-and-found-again feeling that comes from being off-track (deliberately or inadvertently). It would not be a proper weekend without at least one long day out, including the extremes of gradient and temperature. Keen to try most things including all the tramping equipment he can beg, borrow or (last resort) buy.
  5. Hans Solo. Will do anything, anywhere, anyhow (but it's not always a good idea to follow). Prefers to use strength, determination and bitter irony rather than fancy gadgets. Multi-day bush-bashes and tramping in the dark are Hans idea of heaven, but in the absence of any other challenge he can always race himself up a mountain.
  6. Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. Fun, fast, agile, knows everyone, been everywhere. One of those people who turns out to be an expert at virtually everything to do with the outdoors (life's too short for ironing, cooking and cleaning . . .). Mega-missions to exotic locations overseas a specialty.

Alternatively, we could try the suntan lotion type approach and use a numerical PB rating based on the percentage proportion of the trip that Pooh Bear would be able to enjoy. PB100 would indicate the full Bear participation level, PB50 would get him there but not back again, and PB0 would suggest that Pooh would only still be up with the group after the first hundred metres if Hans Solo had him in his pack.