The gear I used last year was pretty much as good as I could get it, and it performed brilliantly. I can’t see too many changes next year, aside from a few minor tweaks, getting the right colours for the season and something shiny, always something shiny. I also intend to take my good camera (and the associated bits) instead of the trusty point and shoot. This will make things heavier of course, but with some planning it manageable and worth the effort for such an adventure.
Food is something I didn’t look to hard at last year, weight and calories were pretty much my only concerns, balanced with taste (if you can’t face eating it then there is no point in taking it). I paid little attention to protein, carbs, sugars, and all that important ‘stuff’. Whilst I had around 3000 calories a day (probably burning in the region of 5000), I had rushes, slumps and crashes in energy. I also doubt I had my carbs and electrolytes at the right levels considering the weather. All things I will have to learn better.
The big area I got wrong last year was my fitness and weight. They go hand in hand for myself. I started last year really well, having lost in the region of 33kgs (5.2 stone) and I had wanted to lose a bit more before I went to Nepal and the Everest Base camp. My target was around 101Kgs (16 Stone), but would have been more than happy with 110kgs (17 stone ish). In the end I was around 120kgs when I went to Nepal.
Despite being heavier than planned when I went to Nepal, I had a great time and managed to make it all the way, and climbed Kala Patthar (5545m). Our trek leader confessed that he didn’t have high hopes when we all met at the pre-trip hotel. However, on return, I let things go pretty badly.
|The stats tell a clear story|
The diet stopped and the walking stopped too. This was obviously not a great idea. I had a bit of a slump after Nepal (post trip blues?) and fell back into all the bad habits. Some of it was a mindset of ‘I deserve a reward’ and a couple of weeks of not caring. Some of it was a bit of ‘why bother’; the mind is pretty stupid at times.
I did 2 walks in the 4 months before the JMT. No over nights, no camping, no practicing and testing the routines. And despite that, I didn’t feel too bad on the walk. The weight on my back was ok. It was all about the weight on my belly and on my mind. It is good to know exactly what was OK and what went wrong, as it’s all fixable. No altitude issues, no problems with kit, no problems with navigation, nothing that is impossible to fix.
The weight is in my hands (or mouth…) and in many ways should be easier. I have done it before, so why can’t I do it again. As it stands I’m back now at my max weight. 2015 is the consolidation year. Get it right this year, for 2016.