Grade 5: Trekking or walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day
'Everest Base Camp and Kala Patter' - Grade 5
These adventures involve trekking or walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Some treks may require you to carry a full pack around 15kg and others you need to only carry a daypack (around 7kg) while your other gear is transported by other means from day to day. You should also be prepared for walking in potentially variable weather conditions. Though the cold and wet should not be a factor with the right gear and attitude!
45 minutes of aerobic type exercise, three to four times a week. Hill or stair walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also recommended depending upon the activity you plan to undertake.
"I trained for my Ultimate Annapurna trek with many bushwalks/hikes, building up distance and length of the walks as I trained. I was also doing my usual boot camp training 3-4 mornings a week. If I were to do the trip again, I would train with my daypack, adding weight of about 10kg to the bag so that I can get used to that feeling of walking with a weighted pack before the trip."
- Ashley H (World Expeditions, Sydney Office)
"Fill your backpack with clothes and a couple of water bottles so it weighs approximately 7 kgs and hit the hills, stairs, the local park, anywhere you can walk which has a gradient in places that will help strengthen your legs. Remember it is just as important training going down as it is up as we use different muscles for each."
- Heather Hawkins (Marathon Runner and Adventurer - Heather walked the 1700km Great Himalaya Trail with World Expeditions in 2016)
Recommended Moderate Treks:
Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar – Nepal (17 days)
Ultimate Annapurna Dhaulagiri – Nepal (16 days)
Paine & Fitz Roy Trek – Argentina, Patagonia & Chile (15 days)
'Bhutan Snowman Trek' - Grade 6
Grade 6: Moderate trekking with several challenging stages
Our grade 6 trips involve a combination of the ‘Moderate’ and ‘Challenging’ levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with several challenging stages. These trips can involve more physical challenges such as tougher terrain, harsh conditions or high ascents. Self-guided adventures rated moderate to challenging involve carrying a full pack around up to 20kg and therefore we recommend more trek training with a weighted pack.
One hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill or stair walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also highly recommended.
"I trained for Gokyo Lakes & Renjo La by incorporating stair runs into my usual running schedule of 2-3 x 30-45 min runs a week. I also stuck with my strength training class 1 x day a week. The stair runs were by far the most important and beneficial in hindsight. I worked up to 12 sets of the big stairs , though I could only do 3-4 sets at the beginning. My lungs felt super strong which was important to me as an asthmatic about to test my lungs at altitude. If I were to do it again, I’d also add walking up stairs with a 7-10kg pack on as I think this would have developed my leg and core strength better."
– Sarah H (World Expeditions, Sydney Office)
Recommended Moderate Treks:
Kilimanjaro: Shira Route – Tanzania (10 days)
Gokyo & the Renjo La – Nepal (17 days)
Huayhuash Circuit – Peru (19 days)
Grade 7: Trekking in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day
'Bhutan Snowman Trek' - Grade 7
These adventures involve trekking in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day, possibly more. With remoteness comes potential to encounter variable weather conditions. You will need an excellent level of fitness and for some of our treks will need to be prepared to carry a full pack weighing up to 20kg.
One hour of aerobic type exercise, four times a week. Hill walking with a pack in variable weather conditions is also a must.
“I prepare myself primarily by writing up training plans in my diary and sticking with them. I love ticking milestones off and recording kilometres and making comments as I go. I give myself plenty of time to prepare and I love mixing things up by adding swimming and core strengthening exercises to my runs, and choosing new locations to train in.”
– Heather Hawkins (Marathon Runner and Adventurer)
Recommended Challenging Treks:
Bhutan Snowman Trek – Bhutan (27 days)
Everest High Passes – Nepal (22 days)
John Muir Trail – USA (23 days)
There are many factors that contribute to our grading system including the length of the trip, terrain, altitude and weather conditions. These grading factors do not take into account personal abilities or experience, so if you have any queries relating to your fitness do not hesitate to call your local office.
And to finish, as Heather Hawkins once said…
"I’d say ‘do it!’ Go ahead and write down your dreams, make plans to achieve them, and put them into play. Prepare yourself, trust yourself, dare to be bold and push the boundaries. Life is so short and we need to colour it with as much adventure, joy and amazing experiences as we can. Get out there, and take your friends and family with you!"