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NEW TREK FOR 2020! - Dolomites Alta Via 1 and the The Annapurna Circuit

Trek Grades and Fitness Preparation

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GET PREPARED FOR TOUR TREK

So you have signed 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 and Walkers Haute route are a great challenge and preparation is the key to achieving your goal.

All of the treks we offer are 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.

TREK GRADING

We grade our treks from 1 to 10 (1 being relatively easy and 10 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 3 RELAXED: 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 4 VIGOROUS: Chamonix Middle Mountain 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 5/6 TOUGH: Chamonix Iconic High Mountain Treks: These treks are tough & a good level of fitness needed before you arrive. The height gain & descent are in the region of + or – 800 meters per day without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.

GRADE 7 CHALLENGING: Tour du Mont Blanc, Tour du Monte Rose & Tour of the Vanoise: These treks are challenging & a good level of fitness needed before you arrive. The height gain & descent are in the region of + or – 1200 meters per day without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.

GRADE 8 STRENUOUS & DEMANDING: Walkers Haute Route: This is a strenuous & demanding trek that requires a high 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 m per day without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep & rocky ascents & descents.

GRADE 9/10 TECHNICAL & EXTREME: Traverse of the Grand Paradiso (AV2): This is the most physically demanding treks we offer & an excellent 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 m per day 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.

FITNESS & PREPARATION

Level of fitness, which best describes you?

Training required

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 and 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 and enjoy!

Possibly do some more walking in the mountains and 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 and 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.

Nutrition and Hydration

One of the most important things in addition to fitness is your nutrition and hydration during the trek. Poor nutrition & hydration can severely affect your physical performanceand it is important to get your nutrition & hydration right, you will be burning lots of calories and loosing essential fluid each day so it is imperative you carry the right kinds of food and enough water with you to avoid dehydration and malnutrition.

It is advisable to drink plenty of water before you sent off on each days trek 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 and drink that would be good when exerting yourself on a daily basis do some research beforehand and trial what works best for you.

Carrying a Rucksack

It’s a good idea to have a trial at packing your rucksack beforehand to maximize space, check the weight & get rid of any un-needed items! If you are not used to trekking with a heavier rucksack take it out with you when training during the months beforehand.