Machu Picchu 4 day hike advice

Dec 24th, 2013, 05:34 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Machu Picchu 4 day hike advice

A friend and I are signing up for the 4-day hike to Macchu Pichu in July. We have 6 months to prepare and are looking for recommendations in terms of training/preparation. What did you do to get ready? Any tips for the hike? Also looking for recommendations for what to do in Cusco and anything that is a must-bring for the trip. Thanks!
retlinger is offline  
Dec 24th, 2013, 05:54 PM
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We hiked up and down a small ski hill with 15 pound backpacks on for a few months before the trip. And if you can find a place with steep steps that will help a lot. Day two in particular has a lot of steps, and steps are harder to climb than an inclined, smooth trail.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 25th, 2013, 01:17 PM
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Well, since no one else is talking. Of course I have no idea how old you are or what kind of shape you're in. But I would suggest you do some of your practice hikes with poles. It helps to get your arms in shape. And your arms will come into play on the trail.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 04:30 AM
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Thanks for responding. We are mid-30's and early 40's and on our way to getting into better shape. I appreciate the advice...we have never done anything like this. I can't wait.
retlinger is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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You'll love it Retinger. One other good piece of advice we followed was to try and do a fairly tough two day hike in advance of the trip. We went to Mont Tremblant in Quebec twice for weekend hikes up the mountain. This will help you prepare for day 2 which is not only a tough climb but it follows a reasonably difficult day one and then perhaps not the best of sleeps.

As for the hike try googling videos for Dead Woman's Pass. My one regret is that we did not take more pictures on the way up to the pass. It is incredibly beautiful.
colduphere is offline  
Dec 27th, 2013, 11:02 PM
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Ditto, everything that colduphere said. The best training for a hiking trip is hiking / walking with a pack. Outdoors up and down hills is the best, but in the gym or even up (and down) stairwells of tall buildings will help, if that's all you have available.

One thing you can't train for is altitude sickness, which you will experience to some degree upon arrival in Cusco. Educate yourself about this, and by far the best things you can do are to stay hydrated and take it easy the first couple of days.

When you are out on the trail avoid the temptation to go fast. Learn to get into a slow steady rhythm that you can maintain for hours. Sounds easy, but it's not.

When climbing the "rest step" is a simple and effective technique. Simply put, momentarily lock the leg that's downhill, putting your weight on the bones. This gives the muscles a brief rest.

My wife and I did this many years ago, a superb hike! Arriving at Machu Picchu after days of walking is unforgettable. Have a great trip.
Nelson is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 05:58 AM
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We did the Inca Trail in September and trained quite a bit before going. We are in our mid-40s and each run at least one half marathon a year. Even given this - we trained quite a bit as we wanted to be in really good shape going into this hike. We live in the Midwest so hiking trails with any kind of altitude change was not an option. If you have some available to you - I would highly recommend doing them ahead of time. Alternatively - if you live in the flatlands like we do - we both did a lot of running and the stair climber at the gym. I felt like the stair climber was really helpful in my training. I would also recommend combining that with a good weight lifting regimen as well. If you are female - I would also recommend lots of squats to get your quads in good shape. You will be squatting to go to the bathroom for 4 days and it is harder on you than you think. Your quads also get quite a workout going downhill (we found it harder than the uphill portions).

You will love it - it was such a great experience!
illnative is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2014, 08:34 AM
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I haven't done the Inca Trail (afraid of heights) but I have done other long treks such as Milford Sound and have visited Peru a few times.

On the altitude side, allow enough tine for three nights in Cusco. You could also do 2 in the Sacred Valley and 2 in Cusco, with even more time you could work in a pretrek trip to Lake Titicaca which is another 1000 feet higher than Cusco.

Learn how to use hiking poles to take the stress off your knees. It's the downhills that get you. Your guide may give you some other tips, one that I found helpful when walking the last 500 meters to Pastoruri (5000 meters) was to raise my hands above my head to get my heartrate down.

I know you are focused on MP but read up a bit on Peru and allow some time to explore other areas, if you have the time.
mlgb is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2014, 07:58 AM
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> one that I found helpful when walking the last 500 meters to Pastoruri (5000 meters) was to raise my hands above my head to get my heartrate down.

In decades of long distance and high altitude trekking that's a new one for me! Seems like raising your hands would have the opposite effect. Usually people stop walking, lean on their trekking poles, and lower their heads.

But whatever works.
Nelson is online now  
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