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Gran Paradiso - Fitness Preparation

How fit do you have to be to trek the Gran Paradiso?

So you have signed up for a summer adventure trekking the Traverse of the Gran Paradiso. Now is the time you make sure you are fit and ready in order to get maximum enjoyment out of your trek. The Traverse of the Gran Paradiso is a great challenge and preparation is the key to achieving your goal.

The Traverse of the Gran Paradiso is for sure a stunningly beautiful trek but it isn’t easy and each day you will experience some challenging terrain. The Traverse of the Gran Paradiso is physically demanding, you will be travelling 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 travelled and the height gain and descent so you know what to expect.

Treks are graded 1-4 (1 being relatively easy to 4 being toughest). Traverse of the Gran Paradiso is described as toughest or extreme trek. An excellent level of fitness is needed for mountain walking with a substantial daily height gain and descent and sustained trekking over 8 to 10 days without a break.

Fitness Questionnaire

Take our short questionnaire to help to determine your trekking fitness level.

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Nutrition and Hydration

In addition to health and fitness, good nutrition and hydration will be vital during the trek. Good nutrition and hydration improve your physical and mental performance, giving you energy to walk, think clearly and help regulate your temperature. Also consider what you like and what keeps you happy! You’ll be burning lots of calories and losing essential fluid each day so it is imperative you carry the right kinds of food and enough water based fluids with you. Decide on what foods, snacks and fluids will provide you with the best sources of energy for your mountain day and try everything out before you go. If you’re not familiar with the kinds of food and drink that would be good when exerting yourself on a daily basis do some research beforehand and trial what works best for you.


It is essential that you stay hydrated before, during and after each day on the trek. The amount of fluid you take each day really depends on your personal needs, the duration and intensity of the day. This will be affected by the weather conditions. We suggest a minimum of 1.5 litres of water or water based fluids in an easily accessible, leak proof, reusable and cleanable container. Depending on the itinerary there might be opportunity to replenish your water supply during the day. Ask your guide if there’s a water stop or if on a self-guided trek check your daily route cards so you can plan accordingly.


You know what suits you best and food is fuel! Your trek itinerary suggests roughly how long you will be trekking for each day. The meals provided on the trek will give you a balanced nutritious diet. Evening meals will consist of a starter of soup or salad, main course of meat or vegetarian option with pasta, rice or potatoes and vegetables plus a dessert. Continental breakfasts consist of cereals, yogurt, bread, jam, meats and cheese, hot drinks, juice. Dietary requirements can be catered for, please specify at the time of booking and remind each accommodation on arrival.

On the Trail

You know what works best for you whilst you are out and about in the mountains. Snacks, trail mix, fresh sandwiches and fruit are available in towns and some villages. There will be opportunity to purchase fresh food most days from a local bakery or supermarket. When staying in the more remote locations the refuges will provide you with a packed lunch at an additional cost, make sure you order this on arrival for the following day. If you have a bag transfer it is worth having a stock of non perishable snacks in your transfer bag so you can top up your backpack with your favourites.

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