Alpine Pass Route – preparation part #1

Or “How hard can it be?” Er…

In September, I’m planning to walk ~200 miles from the east of Switzerland, across 16 alpine passes (hence the route name), to the shores of Lake Geneva in the west. This will be my biggest solo trip yet, and will take me a bit over 2 weeks of continuous hiking. To say I’m excited is somewhat of an understatement.

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My life in google sheets

So as usual, I’ve made a spreadsheet to plan
for the trip. I like spreadsheets. I’ve
tracked the altitude loss and gain for each day, and writing them out made it feel a lot more real – it averages 1250m of height gain and descent each day. That’s…quite a lot more than I’m used to.

I’m using the Cicerone guidebook to the APR (actually the only one I could find on the APR), and people’s blogs of their trips, for my main planning guidance. I’ve booked all my accommodation in advance – this reduces flexibility, but for this I’d rather know I had somewhere to sleep each night. And if need be, some kind of public transport is nearby for most days, so rest days/extreme bad weather days can be accommodated.

In terms of hiking fitness, I’ve been/I’m doing as many weekender trips as I can to train for the ascent/descent, walking with a larger backpack, and back-to-back days of walking. I do weightlifting at the gym twice a week, and try and do at least 1 yoga/pilates class. Then a mix of kickboxing and cycling fills up my evenings!

In April I went on a mountain skills training weekend at Plas Y Brenin (will write about that soon), which was excellent and I’d recommend the course and the centre to anyone looking for a weekend out in the hills, and wanting to sharpen their navigation and planning skills.

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The view from breakfast at Plas Y Brenin down to Snowdon

This is the first in a series of posts I’ll be doing in the running up to September about my preparation for the trip, so I hope someone may find them useful!

 

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