Trips can be 100% exploratory or some percentage of that. The percentage is determined by how much of the ground has been traveled by me, SK Lund. If it’s 100% percent, I have not been there before. In all cases, the route is planned and mapped in advance.
The nature of exploratory trips is that they are partial to completely unknown on the ground. This means that there can be surprises or unplanned detours that may modify outcomes. The not negotiable outcome is that we get back to the trailhead before nightfall except when stated otherwise in the trip description. If the goal cannot be attained in the time we have available or if weather conditions do not support it, I may abort or modify a trip to get us back on time.