So you are thinking of signing up for a summer adventure, now is the time you make sure you fit and ready in order to get maximum enjoyment out of your trek. The Tour du Mont Blanc difficulty and Walkers Haute route difficulty depends on your level of fitness, preparation is the key to achieving your goal.
All of the treks we offer are physically demanding you will be traveling over rugged and mountainous terrain with a sustained amount of ascent and descent on a daily basis. Make sure you are aware of the daily distances traveled and the height gain & descent so you know what to expect.
Trek grading: We grade our treks from 1 to 5 (1 being relatively easy & 5 being extremely hard), each trek receives a grade depending on the difficulty of terrain and numbers of days of sustained trekking.
To explain in more detail:
GRADE 1 EASY: Chamonix valley walks: General walking fitness on flat & easy terrain, no previous walking experience required. All the trails will be flat with no elevation or descent, walking distances can vary between 6- 14 kilometers depending on the route.
GRADE 2 DEMANDING: Chamonix treks: A reasonable level of fitness is required for example, at home you do regular exercise each week. During the day walks you will experience a degree of height gain & descent in addition to a distance of between 12-18 kilometers each day. Hill walking experience is advisable so you have knowledge of what it takes to walk in the mountains.
GRADE 3 STRENUOUS: Tour du Mont Blanc, Tour of the Vanoise: These treks are strenuous & a good level of fitness needed before you arrive. The height gain & descent are in the region of + or – 1200 meters per day or a period of 8- 11 days without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.
GRADE 4 TOUGH: Walkers Haute Route: This is a very physically demanding trek which requires an excellent level of fitness and stamina for long mountain days. You need to have plenty of mountain walking experience & exercise on a regular basis. Each day the trek has continued and substantial height gain and decent of over + or -1500 meters per day for a period of 11 days without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.
GRADE 5 EXTREME: Traverse of the Grand Paradiso: This is the most physically demanding trek we offer & a supreme level of fitness is required for the type of terrain you will encounter on this trek & previous mountain trekking experience is essential. Each day the trek has continued and substantial height gain and decent of over + or -1500 meters per day for a period of 9 days without a break. You will trek to an altitude of over 3000 meters & the terrain is remote, exposed & difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.
Level of fitness, which best describes you?
- You exercise on a daily basis. You regularly walk in the mountains in your home country. You take a trekking holiday every year.
If this is you then you will have absolutely no problem, keep up the good work & enjoy!
- You exercise a few times a week. You regularly walk sometimes in the mountains. You have taken trekking holidays in recent years and coped well.
The same applies if this is you then you will have absolutely no problem, keep up the good work & enjoy! Possibly do some more walking in the mountains & carrying a rucksack to get used to the extra weight.
- You do some exercise but not on a regular basis, you do some walking and have walked in the mountains before. You have taken a trekking holiday before but not for many years.
You do some exercise so that’s a good start, from now until the trek start date make sure you get out at least a couple of times a week. To build up endurance skills get out walking building up to 15- 20k in distance. You need to make sure there is height gain & descent to build up leg strength. By the time the trek date arrives you need to be comfortable walking 15-20k per day with 1000m of height gain and descent. You also need to carry a rucksack to get used to the extra weight.
- You don’t take regular exercise and haven’t walked in the mountains for a number of years. You have never taken a trekking holiday before.
All is not lost although there is no time to lose in terms of starting your training, maybe enlist the help of a personal trainer and let them work out a program for you. Start easy, get out walking on flat easy routes, and build up the distance over a number of weeks. Once the distance has increased and you feel fitter start to introduce some hill walking. By the time the trek date arrives you need to be comfortable walking 15-20k per day with 1000m of height gain and descent. You also need to carry a rucksack to get used to the extra weight.
Fitness for Participation: It is essential if you undertake one of these treks that you understand, realise and accept the potential risks and hazards that can be over and above those associated with normal ‘package’ holidays. All clients are expected to satisfy themselves prior to booking and departure that they are mentally and physically capable of participating in the itinerary as described in the brochure, the full itinerary and all activities it demands. Each trek is given a trek grading please refer to this information to establish whether you can undertake the trek.
Nutrition & hydration: One of the most important things in addition to fitness is your nutrition & hydration during the trek. Poor nutrition & hydration can severely affect your physical performance & it is important to get your nutrition & hydration right. Each day you will be burning lots of calories & loosing essential fluid so it is imperative you carry the right kinds of food & enough water with you to avoid dehydration & malnutrition. It is advisable to drink plenty of water before you sent off on each day so you are fully hydrated. A pack lunch can be bought from local supermarkets when staying in villages or from the accommodation if ordered the night of arrival. If you are not familiar with the kinds of food & drink that would be good when exerting yourself daily do some research beforehand and trial what works best for you.
For further information on any aspect of trek grading or fitness preparation contact Sara at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more information on our Guided & Self guided treks see our website:
Tour du Mont Blanc: The Tour du Mont Blanc features in the world’s top ten 'must do' treks & it's not hard to understand why as this trek is outstanding with amazing views day after day.
Walkers Haute Route: The Walkers Haute Route also features as one of the worlds top ten treks & is approximately 180km in length, the route crosses 11 high mountain passes with 12,000m of ascent through France and Switzerland the Haute Route walk makes for a fabulous challenge.
Gran Paradiso & other treks we offer: Trekking through the Gran Paradiso trail is a must for all adventure lovers. With vivid colours, large ice masses and green meadows, the national park of Italy offers a fantastic glimpse of Europe’s true beauty.