The benefits of hiking are numerous. Hiking improves physical fitness, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and improves mood and enhances mental wellbeing.
I suggest progressively increasing the difficulty of your hikes. If you are training for a backpacking trip or a mountain summit, it is best to start training in earnest at least 8 weeks before a backpack trip or 6-8 months before a summit. Prior to that, it really helps to start with a good base of cardiovascular exercise such as moderate walking, jogging, biking and thus already have basic conditioning. If you do not have this base, a 12-16 week progressive build-up to pre-trip hiking fitness is more appropriate. Maria Faires, RD is a mountaineering fitness and nutrition expert.
Training helps you enjoy the hike, backpacking or summit climb. You are more relaxed and fully present to appreciate your surroundings if you are not under the physical and psychological stress of being overwhelmed with the effort of hiking.
Contact me if you need assistance planning your fitness regimen for mountain climbing or backpacking. I’ve successfully climbed Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Angeles and trained dozens of clients to climb those and Mt. Everest (See the testimonial from Dan Akerman), Aconcagua, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Blanc, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, and Carstensz Pyramid.
Some of these hikes are not accessible during the winter season. Check WTA.Org for trail reports, weather reports, directions and pass requirements.
Maria Faires’ Progressive Hike Schedule Snoqualmie Region
|Hike||Mileage RT||elevation gain||Feet/mile elevation gain||High Point||Difficulty Rating|
|Poo Poo via Chirico||3.8||1,760||926||1,850|
|Talapus/Ollallie Lake Exit 45||6.2||1220||394||3780|
|Olallie Lake via Pratt Lake Trail Exit 47||6||na||na||na|
|Poo Poo Via High School||8||1700||425||na|
|Cable Line- West Tiger 3||3.0||2022||1348||2522|
|Twin Lakes & Lillian Lake||9||2000||445||5300|
|Pratt Lake Basin||11||2300||418||4100|
|West Tiger Four-Summit Loop||9.6||2830||na||2948|
|Mt. Washington Exit 38 Ollalie||8.5||3250||764||4450||24|
|Camp Muir Mt. Rainier||8||4,600||920||10,080||32|
|Camp Muir to Summit||4,330|
|Paradise to Mt. Rainier Summit (although typically done in 2 parts)||16||9010||1126||14,411||39|
Hike Difficulty calculated using http://www.nwhiker.com/HikeEval.html