How fit do I need to be to climb the Grand Teton?

January 29, 2015 | Posted in:

It is an undeniable fact that those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the view from the summit! Those who engage in regular exercise before coming to climb the Grand Teton (or any of the other climbs we offer) typically do fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time—at least a couple of months–to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new.

Training for a Teton climb needs to be specific, and should include cardiovascular activities and weight training. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters, rowing machines, etc. can supplement cardiovascular training. On weekends a full day hike or other longer endeavor will help prepare you for the endurance required in the Tetons. Carrying a 20-30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal.

*If you are not already in decent shape, or are not as young as you used to be(!), it would be prudent to consult with a doctor or certified physical trainer before undertaking a physical fitness training program.

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