Here are the official government descriptions for the Swiss Hiking Trails.
Yellow 'Wanderwege' (Hiking Trails)
"Trails indicated with yellow markers are generally accessible trails and usually determined for foot traffic. They generally lead aside from roads carrying motorized traffic and are usually not surfaced with asphalt or concrete. Steep sections are negotiated with steps and areas with the danger of falling are protected by hand rails. Streams are crossed by catwalks or bridges. Hiking trails make no special demands upon the users."
Red & White Mountain Hiking Trails
"Signalization of mountain trails is a yellow signpost with a white-red-white tip. White-red-white painted stripes confirm the route.
Mountain trails are hiking trails, which partly access difficult terrain. They are mostly steep, narrow and exposed in places. Particularly difficult sections are secured with ropes or chains. In certain circumstances streams can only be crossed via fords.
Users must be sure-footed, have a head for heights, be physically fit and have knowledge of dangers in the mountains (rock falls, danger of slipping/falling, sudden changes in the weather).
Solid boots with good sole profiles, equipment appropriate to weather conditions and topographical maps are preconditions."
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