Lovers of excursionismhave always looked upon the Island of Elba as the perfect place not only because of the magnificent scenery and the fact that nature is all around you, but also because it is full of paths that wind their way round the entire island.
Deciding the level of difficulty of a route basing it on an objective criteria is far from easy, because each of us decides its level depending on personal eperiences, limits, feelings and psychological reactions.
For this reason the Italian Alpine Club has brought out a scale of the different levels of difficulty of the routes on a national level in order to give you a clear idea on how difficult each one is.
This scale takes three important and basic parameters into consideration:
On the basis of all this there are five different levels of difficulty.
In order of level of difficulty, the lowest is marked off with the letter T = Tourist: routes that go along roads, mule tracks and paths that are easy to follow.
The routes are quite short, easy to see and clearly signposted so as to avoid any doubts or fears of getting lost.
You will have to know something about mountainous territory and also be quite fit when it comes to walking. In actual fact anybody can do these routes ,even children or people who tend to sit down a lot.
The differences in height above sea level are usually less than 500 m.
The second lowest level of difficulty is usually marked with an E = Excursion: these are routes that more often than not are tracks that go along paths once used on various types of roads like fields, grit roads and stony paths that are usually signposted.
You will need a good sense of bearing, as well as a certain amount of experience and knowledge of moutainous territory, you should enjoy going trekking, and wear the correct footwear and have the necessary equipment are a must.
Usually the difference in height above sea level is from 500 to 1000 m.
EE = Expert Excursionists is a higher level than the previous one: it concerns paths that are not always signposted which means you need to be good at trekking across mountainous territory.
They might be paths or even just minimal traces that go across steep, arduous ground, with often a very steep and slippery surface due to the presence of snow mixed with stones, rocks and grit, but that you should be able to cope with without the need of any specific moutaineering equipment.
In order to follow these routes experience and a deep knowledge of the mountainous environment is very important, as well as aminimal technical knowledge and you should also be very fit and have a good sense of direction. It is also important that you have suitable equipment and footwear.
Usually the difference in height above sea level is more than 1000 m.
The letters EEA = Expert Excursionists with their own equipment concern the tracks and paths where you will need a complete kit of climbing equipment like a climbing harness, carabiners, ropes and a screamer, as well as protective clothing and footwear like a helmet and gloves.
These paths can be normal paths that are signposted or actual, fixed rope routes. For your safety you will need to know exactly how to use your equipment and also have great experience and knowledge of mountain territory.
The necessary equipment is similar to that of the EEA but with the addition of ice and snow equipment (harpoons, axes, ropes, etc.) and you will need to be aware of all the safety measures and precautions.
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