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Walkers Haute Route Fitness Preparation

How fit do you have to be to trek the Walkers Haute Route?

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

The Walkers Haute Route is for sure a stunningly beautiful trek but it isn’t easy and each day you will experience some challenging terrain. The Walkers Haute Route 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.

Trek Grading

We grade our treks from 1 to 10 (1 being relatively easy & 10 being extremely hard), each trek receives a grade depending on the difficulty of terrain and numbers of days of sustained trekking.

The Walkers Haute Route is a GRADE 8 trek:

GRADE 8 Strenuous & Demanding: Walkers Haute Route: This is one of the most physically demanding treks we offer and 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 m per day without a break. You will trek to an altitude of over 3000 meters & the terrain is remote, exposed and difficult at times with steep, rocky ascents and descents.

Nutrition and Hydration

One of the most important things in addition to fitness is your nutrition and hydration during the trek. Poor nutrition and hydration can severely affect your physical performance and it is important to get your nutrition and hydration right, you will 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 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.

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 and 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 and 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 and a good level of fitness needed before you arrive. The height gain and descent are in the region of + or – 800 meters per day without a break. The terrain is difficult at times with steep and rocky ascents & descents.

GRADE 7 CHALLENGING

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

GRADE 8 STRENUOUS & DEMANDING

Walkers Haute Route: This is a strenuous and demanding trek that requires a high level of fitness and stamina for long mountain days. You need to have plenty of mountain walking experience and 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 and rocky ascents and descents.

GRADE 9/10 TECHNICAL & EXTREME

Traverse of the Gran Paradiso (AV2): This is the most physically demanding treks we offer and an excellent level of fitness is required for the type of terrain you will encounter on this trek and 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 and the terrain is remote, exposed and difficult at times with steep and rocky ascents and descents.