FaQ's

FaQ's (4)

Not all treks are the same, and are hence classified based on these criteria: gradients during the trek, nature of terrain (like even paths, grass, gravel, stones, boulder in the trail, slipperyness of the trail), average altitude of the trek route, highest altitude of the trek, distance & duration of trek in a day,  temperature during the trek, snow/ice on the trail, campsite locations, availability of water. Each of these criteria is evaluated and then a grading is achieved for a trek.

Easy
Trails are even and gently laid out. Usually runs through meadows and forest cover. Does not have big climbs or descents. Usually not more than 4-5 days long. Campsites have good access to water. Easy to exit from the trek at most times.

Moderate
Trails are generally even but may have short steep climbs or descents. Days trek could last up to 6 hours. Trail may run into snow or climb above 14,000 feet (4,200 mts). Treks are usually 4-5 days long. Campsites usually have good access to water. Easy exits possible from some camps but not all.

Medium Difficult
Trails are generally even but could have rough sections. There could be long sections on snow, moraines or boulders. Steep climbs and descents sometimes over three hour long could be present on some days. One or two sections would require careful navigation. Trek could last 6-7 days. Temperatures at higher camps could dip in minus. Highest altitude gained could be above 15,000 feet (4,500 mts). Chances of altitude sickness possible. Easy exits possible from some camps but not all.

Difficult
Trails could be uneven on some days. Trek days could be long stretching to 8-9 hours. Highest altitude gained could be above 16,000 feet (5000 mts). There could be some high altitude camps where air is thin and temperature in minus. There usually would be long walks and climb on snow. Glacier/crevasse crossing possible. Chances of altitude sickness high. Weather is generally unpredictable with rain/snow chances anytime. Easy exit options few.

Treks

Trekking is our core competency: bread butter and passion, all in one. Our areas of action are as wide as India would permit: Starting from the green western ghats of Kerala and Karnataka unto the snow capped mountains of Uttarakhand and beyond. From the exotic green forests of Assam merging into the Himalayas of the exotic Arunachal Pradesh unto the deserts of Rajasthan - We've seen it all, been there and done that.

The Summiters TM trekking experience as we know has a few significant differentiators:

  1. The Right Recipe: We believe treks should be a healthy combination of pre-conceived plans and of-the-moment spurs. We strike the right balance between the exciting thrilling amount of uncertainty pleasantly cocktailed with on-schedule milestones. Treks with us are assured to be neither the predictably boring sort or the unreasonably volatile ones.
  2. Safety is a top priority. Our supervisors are trained and certified for crisis scenarios. We believe their accompaniment goes a long way in reducing risks that come with trekking - be it the wild western ghats or the cold altitudes of the Himalayas.
  3. Choice of trails: Apart from familiar and popular circuits, we offer exotic trails all over India that we're sure aren't trodden enough before.
  4. One-stop hassle-freedom: We suggest, recommend and supply adventure gear at budget prices apt for your trekking expeditions. You'll never face the problem of being asked to find your own vendor for your shoes or rucksacks next time you intend to head on a trek.
  5. Fun filledness: Last but not least, we believe trekking should be fun and not suicidal. We go a long way to make your trekking pleasing and bearable with quality of service which are the best in the industry. Our treks are eco-centric and aimed towards breeding the spirit of adventure in harmony with nature.

What are the requirements to undertake/participate in a Himalayan Trek

Minimum Age: 12 years 
Experience in trekking: Useful but not mandatory

Fitness required:

You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. If you haven’t exercised in a long time and have gotten out of shape, mild interval training is a good way to rebuild endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Let’s say your exercise of choice is running. Maybe you can only manage to run a few minutes before your heart feels like it’s about to explode out of your chest and you’re forced to stop for fear of passing out. It’s going to take you a while to build up to 30 minutes if you simply run your maximum each day and then stop. You should be able to Jog about 5 kms in 30 minutes before commencement of the trekking expedition every day.

 

What are the requirements to undertake/participate in a Western Ghats Trek / Program

 

Minimum Age: 12 years 
Prior Experience : Useful but not necessary

 

Fitness required: 

Though Western Ghat treks are not as demanding as our Himalayan programs, you need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. Remember this is a tropical region and do keep your self very well hydrated a week prior to the program.

If you haven’t exercised in a long time and have gotten out of shape, mild interval training is a good way to rebuild endurance and cardiovascular fitness. Let’s say your exercise of choice is running. Maybe you can only manage to run a few minutes before your heart feels like it’s about to explode out of your chest and you’re forced to stop for fear of passing out. It’s going to take you a while to build up to 30 minutes if you simply run your maximum each day and then stop. You should be able to Jog about continiously for 20-30 mins before commencement of the program.

 

Suggested Reading

  1. Article on improving/building stamina

 

How to prepare your body for Himlayan Trek

 

Minimum Age: 12 years 
Experience in trekking: Useful but not mandatory

Fitness required: You need to be in good physical condition before the start of the trek. If you haven’t exercised in a long time and have gotten out of shape, mild interval training is a good way to rebuild endurance and cardiovascular fitness.Let’s say your exercise of choice is running. Maybe you can only manage to run a few minutes before your heart feels like it’s about to explode out of your chest and you’re forced to stop for fear of passing out. It’s going to take you a while to build up to 30 minutes if you simply run your maximum each day and then stop.You should be able to Jog 5 kms in 30 minutes before commencement of the trekking expedition every day.


The Himalayan treks take you to an altitude higher than most European Countries. At 15,750 feet the air is thin and the conditions difficult. You also need to carry a backpack that weighs 8-9 kgs. Your physical fitness is important for a successful completion of the trek. Training yourself makes your lungs and Muscles strong and gives it ability to process less air for more work.

Skipping is simple and the most valuable excersise when attempting to increase stamina. Once you master the basic skipping motion, then you can go on skipping until you are completely out of breath. And then repeat. Skipping also builds hand-speed, co-ordination and dexterity.

Flexibility
Stretching allows your muscles to prepare for and recover from a workout. It keeps you limber and helps prevent injuries. When you stretch, you should feel the muscle gently pulling. Avoid bouncing, because this puts undue stress on the muscle. Do some overall body stretches, but focus on the muscle groups that were worked especially hard during your workout. Yoga can help you combine strength training and flexibility workouts. It also helps to keep you centered so that your mind is as healthy as your body.

 

How to control Breath ?

Three Breathing Exercises
Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind.

Exercise 1:
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

  1. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
  2. Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
  3. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Exercise 2:
The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Exercise 3:
Breath Counting
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.
Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  1. To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale.
  2. The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five."
  3.  Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation.

 

Santhanam Sridharan
Trekker/ Yoga teacher at Thakurs Artistic Yoga

 

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