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The Big 14ers.....

Coming from a backpacker with a few >15 mile hikes a year, whats the best way to prep and train for a 14er? 

2 Replies

Work on cardio fitness - running, extended hiking on hills, and cycling are good.

Some 14ers arejust long walks' others are highly technical by their easiest routes.  on your pproach, spend some time at a reasonably high elevation before your ascent.  "Climb high, sleep low" is a good mantra.

Get some first aid training and learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness.

Above all, have a good time.



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Did my first 14er at age 51 last summer - East ridge (class 1) of Quandary Peak in July. Would recommend it to others as a first as well. As implied, this was definitely a "long walk" vs technical, but still not a cakewalk. Def spend a few days at higher altitudes before starting. We stayed in Breckenridge (9k') which helped acclimate. And cardio training prior is a must, esp if you live at much lower elevations like me.

Everything @hikermor said is good, and I'd add that you need to be educated on the mountain overall, your planned route and the season you'll be trekking in. Maybe start-off on a few class-1's  (Quandary, Greys/Torreys) before launching on something more challenging/technical. I found the website to be a great resource with route info and reasonably current condition updates from other climbers.