First we have hiking, this covers all ground types from big lowland to rough rocky scree routes that weave their way steeply up a hill or mountain.
Lastly we have rock climbing, perhaps the steepest and most direct way from the bottom to the top of a mountain, steep vertical rock walls, ropes, harnesses and technical protection.
In between we have scrambling, this could be described as ground that is steep enough for the use of both hands for balance and ascent up ground that is steeper than simple hiking, right up to ground that is continuously steep and exposed and crosses over to rock climbing territory.
Scrambling ability forms the foundations for a good all round mountaineer.
For example, I used to be a fairly good rock climber, taking the harder, steeper directly lines up a mountain, carrying 50m climbing rope, harness, helmet and lots of metal climbing protection ( I still do).
Now however I am more of a mountaineer, able to weave my way through varying degrees of steep and exposed ground mixed with good hand holds and good boot placements, with perhaps longer sections of steeper more exposed body movement that is within my strength and confidence, and all of this without the need for a rope and all that heavy metal climbing gear.
Scrambling is pure freedom of movement within the physical and mental limits of your ability, never climb up what you can’t climb down.
An outline of scrambling grades