How to Prepare for Rupin Pass Trek
Rupin Pass Trek is a moderate difficulty level trek. You cover around 70 kms in a week, negotiating through steep climbs and long distances per day. The highest altitude you touch is Rupin Pass at 15,380 ft. Ideally, only an experienced trekker with at least 1 trek of up to 12,000 ft. should attempt it. Beginners who keep up with an active lifestyle and consistent, cardio-intensive workouts may also be eligible. It is advisable that instead of landing into trouble at an unfamiliar altitude, better go gradual about it.
Undoubtedly, just like most challenges in life, a high altitude trek too boils down to your mental strength. You will be amazed to see how grit kisses success irrespective of your physical status, but that does not mean physical fitness can be overlooked. You need to be high on stamina and strength to reach until that point from where the mind mainly will take over.
Start preparing at least 1.5 months in advance for Rupin Pass. Train for 5 days a week. Start with 1 hour per day, raising it to 1.5 hours. Run for around 5 kms in 30 minutes. Just before the Rupin Pass trek you should be doing 10 kms in 60 minutes. Walk for 2-3 kms on an incline. You should be able to complete it in around 20-25 minutes.
On the trek, you carry a backpack weighing over 10kg for some 10 kms per day, oftentimes ascending steeply at the same time. Therefore strong shoulders, back, knees, and legs cannot be compromised on. Work well on strengthening your joints, particularly ankle, wrist, and knees. Everyday practice 20 squats, 25 push ups, crunches, and 5 Surya Namaskar. Take up Warrior Pose for 5-7 minutes daily for strong thighs. For endurance and leg strength, try climbing stairs with a 10 kg backpack. Starting with 2 minutes, just before the Rupin Pass trek you should be able to climb stairs for 10 minutes at a stretch at a steady pace- not racing, but not stopping either. Swimming and cycling too are good for strengthening the needed muscles. You can alter between cardio and strength building.
Altitudes over 10,000 ft. make the probability of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) increase. Have a lot of water, around 7-8 liters per 24 hours, to reduce the probability of experiencing AMS symptoms. People with any breathing or respiratory disorder must not attempt Rupin Pass trek. Take Diamox with you in case symptoms arise on the trail, but have 10-12 liters of water then. Do extensive research about AMS before you go trekking.
Average temperature on the Rupin Pass hike usually ranges between 13°C-18°C during the day and 0°C-7°C at night. While for an 8-9 days’ trek, you will need to carry several chages of clothes, try to limit your backpack weight to around 10.5kg. Carry a full thermal set, full sleeve T-shirts, fleece layer, a down jacket, lightweight trek pants, and a raincoat and rain pant. Never compromise on these items. High ankle boots and woolen socks are also imperative. Face Wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, Vaseline jelly, tissue paper, paper soap, torch and sunglasses are a must. Take your first aid kit. Pack durable snowshoes besides very high quality trekking shoes. Use them enough that you do not get a shoe bite on the trek. New shoes on a trek are a strict no, as they will cause blisters.
With these crucial checkpoints in mind, you now have a good foundation for what it takes to tackle the trails of Rupin Pass in India. Now all that’s left is to enjoy!