An easy2trail Guide offers everything you need to plan and walk a hike: it is a “guide” tested on the field, with plenty of updated and verified information, GPS maps and useful numbers. It actually is the trusted friend you need with you if you want to hike on your own, freely and, most importantly, safely!
Nevertheless, the easy2trail Guides cannot in any way replace the judgement of every hiker in making decisions based on their aptitude and level of physical training.
The name of this website is inspired by my desire to provide information and tools meant to make hiking on the trails featured in it easier. My website is mainly (albeit not exclusively) for people who already have good mountain experience and can appreciate a different way to enjoy hiking.
The hiking Guides I propose, at least initially, will mainly cover the territory I know best: the Ligurian Apennines and the Ligurian, Maritime and Cottian Alps: a true paradise for all “outdoor enthusiasts”.
INFORMATION AND ADVICE
This classifies the overall technical difficulty of the route, measured according to the traditional hiking grading system used by C.A.I. (the most ancient Italian Alpine Club).
T = TOURIST
Routes that develop on roads, dirt tracks or good paths. These routes are quite short, evident, well-marked and do not feature any particular difficulties. The height gain is usually below 500 metres (1640 ft.) These routes do not require any special experience or physical training.
E = HIKER
Routes that develop almost entirely on trails or paths on varied terrain (meadows, scree, rock), usually with way-markers. Some hiking skills are required, as well as some experience and knowledge of mountainous terrains, physical walking ability and appropriate footwear and clothing. The height gain is usually between 500 (1640 ft.) and 1,000 metres (3280 ft.).
EE = EXPERT HIKER
Routes that are not always marked and require good ability on different types of mountainous terrains. These may be paths or poorly trodden trails which weave through steep and difficult terrains, steep slopes, scree and short snowfields which can be crossed without the use of special mountaineering equipment. Good experience of mountainous terrain and conditions, sure-footedness and good physical fitness are essential. It is also important to have good, appropriate equipment and clothing, as well as a good sense of direction. The height gain is usually over 1,000 metres (3280 ft.).
C.A.I. generally assumes that an average trained hiker climbs up 300-350 metres per hour. If the climb is steep but with no special difficulty or the hiker is very well trained, these values can be significantly exceeded. When going downhill, times obviously decrease, typically to about 2/3 of the time estimated for the climb.
When the hike is instead mostly on the flat, the value considered is equal to the kilometres walked per hour rather than the height climbed. In this case, the average speed assumed by the Club Alpino Italiano is 4 km/h (15 min/km).
We distinguish between Total Height Gain (D+), that is the total positive (uphill) height gain, including undulations and small height difference, and Total Height Loss (D-) that is the sum of all descents. Both data are measured by GPS.
In the easy2trail Guide you will find European emergency number 112 (for all services, including ambulance, police and firefighters), adopted by the Liguria, Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta regions, which is the area where I hike more frequently.
Signage is present in most trail, although not consistently. You will have no problems in the territories of the park areas, while elsewhere signs may be old and maintenance of the trails sporadic or even totally absent.
The itineraries proposed by easy2trail.com mainly follow the F.I.E. (Federazione Italiana Escursionismo – Italian Hiking Federation) geometric trail signage system. Red stands for the itineraries on the Tyrrenian side; yellow for the ones on the Po side. Each itinerary has its own symbol: in case of maintenance, they stand at 50 steps intervals (on average). Signs are always present at crossroads.
A word of advice: if you are not sure about the direction you should take, go back to the last sign.
HOW TO USE THE GUIDE
Each (PDF) Guide contains the following information.
- Type of route, that is if it is a round route or you have to go back on the same path;
- Departure point and its relative altitude;
- Point of Arrival and its relative altitude;
- Technical difficulty of the route, according to the hiking grading system used by C.A.I.;
- Total Length (kilometres). This is fairly accurate but it should be considered as an indication only;
- Minimum and Maximum Altitude, that is the lowest and the highest point of the route;
- Total Height Gain (D+) and Total Height Loss (D-);
- Recommended period;
- This section lists the available water springs along the route. A word of advice: in summer, springs may be dry due to the lack of rains;
- Time expressed in hours and fractions. The time given is calculated for a hiker in average physical condition and does not include any stops for food, water, photographs or rest;
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE
- Road access. This section indicates whether the starting point of the route is accessible by car and which the way to go;
- Access by public transport. This section indicates whether the starting point of the route is accessible by public transport (bus or train);
- Route Summary;
- Detailed description of the hike;
- Map with way-points. A word of advice: the route included in the easy2trail Guide does not replace a map, which I recommend you take with you during the hike!
- Although fairly accurate, it should be considered as an indication only;
- Accommodation along the path;
- Other useful information.