Patagonia Fitness Requirements
Fitness is an important aspect of any trekking holiday, especially in high altitude. The fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. It is also essential for resisting colds and illness during your trip.
The trek is suitable for anyone who loves hill walking and leads a healthy, active lifestyle. If you exercise regularly, we recommend as a minimum to train four to six months prior to the trip, walking for at least 3km, three times a week. If you are not normally active, you may need to increase your training to include 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to six times a week. Ensure you train using your trekking gear, such as shoes and a backpack filled with 2-3 kilos.
As level ground is rare in the mountains, we also recommend to include some uphill training with a mixture of slopes and stairs into your training program. Remember to take the stairs wherever possible; not only does this build strength in your legs and buttocks, it is also one of the quickest ways to increase your fitness and expand your lung capacity.
You will be walking through undulating country for extended periods of time, albeit at an easy, comfortable pace. The distances are not great, however due to the amount of inclines and walking in high altitude, most people find that they are not able to maintain their normal pace. Our shortest walk is about three hours, whilst our last day is a full eight-hour day (including breaks).
The path itself is mostly a rocky, uneven surface, so good balance and stability is a must. Walking poles are provided for support only, you must be able to walk on uneven surfaces without them if required. We climb and descend an average of 300-400 metres each day, which can cause some pressure on knees, hips and joints.
For treks going above 3,500 m we are very careful with acclimatisation to altitude, and our trekking schedules have been carefully designed to minimise the effects. We ascend slowly and ensure an adequate number of rest days to enable safe acclimatisation. It is still possible for mountain sickness to occur, so a close watch is kept on each group member by the leader, who is trained in recognising early symptoms of acute mountain sickness.
Medication such as Diamox is available to relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness. Please ask your doctor for advice before travelling. If you wish to find out more about acute mountain sickness visit http://www.himalayanrescue.org for more information.
If you have any concerns, please call our Expedition Experts to access your abilities on +61 2 9252 1033.