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Russian Hiking Sports Association (RTSA) mountain pass difficulty classification. Widespread in the countries of the former USSR, there are no analogues in other states. Edit this description in the wiki page. Edit this description in the data item.
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Status: in use

Russian Hiking Sports Association (RTSA) mountain pass difficulty classification. Widespread in the countries of the former USSR, there are no analogues in other states.

The difficulty category is determined by rough guidelines refined by consensus agreement of a dedicated comitee within the Russian Sports Hiking Federation (ru) (formerly: Russian Hiking Sport Association).

Classification defines 3 categories of difficulty, each of which is divided into the subcategories А and Б. 1A category passes are considered the most simple, 3Б category passes are the most difficult. Passes with complexity below 1A, are usually denoted as uncategorized ("н/к", abbreviation for "no category"). For passes of a category that pose significally higher risk of injury or if pass difficulty significantly depends on variable conditions (snowfall, icing of slopes, rockfall, etc.), it is customary to append an asterisk to the difficulty class (e.g., 2А*).[1] From formal achievement point of view the asterisk classed passes score the same as the basic class, and the mark is used to discourage hikers from travelling dangerous passes.

To get acquainted with the list of high-mountain passes with the indication of a category it is possible here: or here:

Applies to


As of Jan 2019, Cyrillic values[2] are vastly more prevalent:

  • rtsa_scale=н/к
  • rtsa_scale=1А
  • rtsa_scale=1А*
  • rtsa_scale=1Б
  • rtsa_scale=1Б*
  • rtsa_scale=2А
  • rtsa_scale=2Б*
  • rtsa_scale=3А
  • rtsa_scale=3А*
  • rtsa_scale=3Б

Similar values

  • sac_scale has similar goal, but different scope. sac_scale is applied to complete routes, while rtsa_scale= is applied to specific obstacle on a route (mostly passes) and a route is supposed to include several such obstacles.
  • No tag yet: similar classification exists for alpine routes (passes, summit ascentions, ridge traverses) assigned by Russian Alpine Sports Federation. Alpine classification includes values: 1Б, 2А, 2Б, 3А, 3Б, 4А, 4Б, 5А, 5Б, 6А, 6Б. Like with sac_scale, this classification has different scope, although the classes assigned to some passes may coincide. If such feature is referred to in hiking report then it is referred to as e.g. "2А (альп)" (2A alpine).
  • mtb:scale is another similar classification, applied to MTB routes.