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Difficulty criteria and duration of trails

At Tenerife ON we use the MIDE Montaña Segura (Safe Mountain) method to describe the duration and difficulty of our trails.

It is the most commonly used criteria at national level to classify trails, and it is recommended by the Spanish Mountain and Climbing Federation (FEDME).


Because it covers four levels of technical difficulty, allowing users to understand in advance what each itinerary entails, so that they are able to choose the one that best matches their preferences and fitness level.


How the MIDE method works

MIDE is made up of two blocks of information:

metodo mide Anaga - Chasna

  • Practical details concering the route: 
    • Estimated completion time, with no stops.
    • Total elevation gain.
    • Total elevation loss.
    • Distance covered.
    • Type of route: out-and-back, loop or point-to-point.
  • Evaluation of four aspects of difficulty:
    • Harshness of the natural environment.
    • Orientation along the trail.
    • Difficulty of movement.
    • Amount of effort required.


How to evaluate MIDE scores

In the MIDE method, scores for these four technical and physical characteristics range between 1 and 5 (from low to high difficulty) according to the following:

Harshness of the natural environment

Orientation along the trail

  1. The environment is not without risks.
  2. There is more than one risk factor.
  3. There are various risk factors.
  4. There are considerable risk factors.
  5. There are a lot of risk factors.
  1. Trails and intersections are clearly marked.
  2. There are paths or signage indicating continuity.
  3. Requires accurate identification of geographical markers and cardinal points.
  4. Requires off-trail navigation.
  5. Route is blocked by obstacles that have to be navigated around.

Difficulty of movement

Amount of required effort*

  1. Walking on a flat surface.
  2. Walking on bridle paths.
  3. Walking along pathways with steps or uneven terrain.
  4. It requires the use of hands or jumps to maintain balance.
  5. Using hands is required to progress.
  1. Up to 1 hour of walking.
  2. Between 1 and 3 hours of walking.
  3. Between 3 and 6 hours of walking.
  4. Between 6 and 10 hours of walking.
  5. More than 10 hours of walking.


*Calculated according to MIDE criteria for a typical walker carrying a light load.


The MIDE method at Tenerife ON

Based on our experience and local knowledge, we have adjusted the estimated duration of our trails in Teide Nacional Park, increasing them from the data collected during the field work, given that the altitude means that increased effort is required on these trails.  

However, despite the valuable information that the MIDE method offers, remember that this system does not reflect the changeable nature and complexity of the natural world.

For that reason, at Tenerife ON we recommend you check our real-time warnings and alerts section before setting out on a route, as well as our manual of advice and best practices for walkers.