/ Trekking Advice - Post Cancer

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mypyrex - on 15:22 Sun

Sorry if I've touched on this before but can anyone give me any idea what to expect per day on the TMB.

I would like to do it and still have it in mind for next year. I'm two+ years post chemo and the mind is willing but I don't fully know if the body is up to it. On hill days I'm aware that I'm slower than I was three or four years ago. A couple of weekends ago I did circa 8 miles in the northern Carneddau - my longest day since chemo. I've been doing a mix of low level walks and occasional summits - Tryfan, Glyders and Y Garn including via the NE ridge(lovely trip)

If I do the TMB I would try to plan shorter days than those mentioned in the guides. I also have to consider that I've not carried a full 'sack for some time.

Any comments appreciated.

If anyone can make a comparison with the following - Pyrenees GR10, EBC Trek, Annapurna circuit, Toubkal circuit - that would help.
Post edited at 15:24
zimpara - on 15:34 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Going hut to hut would cut your daysack to an Ipod, camera, water and snacks.
It looks great and I would like to do it one day.

I think you'd piss it.

abseil on 15:36 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Hi, I suppose you mean Tour du Mont Blanc? Do you?
mypyrex - on 15:37 Sun
In reply to zimpara:

> Going hut to hut
Definitely planning to do it that way

> I think you'd piss it.
Thanks for the optimism

mypyrex - on 15:38 Sun
In reply to abseil:

> Hi, I suppose you mean Tour du Mont Blanc? Do you?

abseil on 15:42 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

> Yes

OK, thanks for your reply, haven't done it but wish you happy trekking!
mysterion on 16:16 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:
Not done TMB but I walked a bit of it a few weeks back and my impression is that the refuges are fairly frequent. Pretty sure that guidebook days could be shortened fairly easily. Also some variant routes along valleys.
Post edited at 16:18
leon 1 on 16:58 Sun
In reply to mypyrex: You`ll never ever know until you try.
Go for it if the worst that can happen is you have to pull out after a few days. You will still be in the Alps with hopefully great views, beer in the sunshine and pretty ladies to look at (and memories) Good luck, be positive and enjoy every minute. Life is not a rehearsal.
Mike Rhodes - on 17:30 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Hi Mypyrex.
I live in the Pyrenees and guide the TMB several times a year (4 tours this summer) and I would be happy to talk to you about the circuit.
You need to consider which way round to walk it. Anti clockwise tends to give you a harder start with longer days and bigger climbs but in either case you will need to be able to walk aprox 20k a day and climb on average 1000m if you do the circuit as described in the book. If you are using refuges and gites etc then it is possible to do much shorter days. All of the days are on really good paths and are in general really well marked and you will rarely be on your own.
Are you planning to do it privately or with one of the tour groups? Pros and cons with both but don't discount using a professional group.
Regarding comparison with the treks you have mentioned, I think that the GR10 is the most similar in that it follows good trails and does not climb many summits but there are more coffee and cake stops on the TMB!
Send me a PM or give me a call and I will be pleased to take to you in more details. If you want to do some pre TMB training next year and maybe do a few climbs then please do come and stay with us in the Pyrenees Orientales.
BobtheBagger on 17:40 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Because you haven't really got the altitude to worry about, the TMB is easier than EBC and Annapurna that you mention, I would say it is also easier walking than a circuit of Toubkal. I can't speak about the GR10 but from what I've heard of it the TMB should be the easier of the two.
By going hut to hut you can really keep the weight of your sac to a minimum, there are loads of places to overnight and loads of places to buy food and drink, so that also helps keep the sac light.
A friend of mine is now 10 years post chemo, she was out trekking in Bhutan after about 4 or 5 years, so I think you should be fine. Just get out walking and cycling as much as you can before you go.
As another post says, the worst that can happen is that you get tired and have to slow down or abandon, you will still have had a great time in the mountains up to that point, so get it booked and go for it.
Good luck.
mypyrex - on 20:25 Sun
In reply to Mike Rhodes:

You have mail
Y Gribin - on 20:46 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Agree with all the other comments. The key to knowing whether you can do it is to stitch together some 3-4 days walks (don't worry too much about distance) in advance.

Day by day on the TMB, you have plenty of time to get to your destination. The paths are good and well marked. However, the ability to repeat this the next day, and the day after, is harder to predict. There are several 1000m ascents on the TMB (which you couldn't avoid even by shortening days), so gently plodding up some long ascents will boost your confidence.

I think most of the other walks you list are not the most helpful comparisons as they are much more remote than the TMB so you're always further from help or options to back out (or shorten your day). On the TMB you touch civilisation at least once a day, and often more. It's a great walk - go for it!
sheffbabe - on 20:49 Sun
In reply to mypyrex:

Hi there
Although I haven't done the TMB, I completed the glacier haute route this year, exactly 12 months after finishing radiotherapy, 16 months after finishing chemo.
I had worked hard to get my fitness back again - mainly running up and down hills but also some hill walking, and bouldering at least once a week too.
The Haute route was fine for me - we were a fast group according to the guide, and I didn't bonk or struggle during any of the days, BUT I was very careful about resting during the trip. On every day bar one, I slept for at least 90 minutes as soon as I arrived at each hut. I also ate everything put in front of me, even if I wasn't hungry. Although the rest of the group took the piss a bit about my afternoon naps (they didn't know I was recovering from cancer!) the sleep was absolutely crucial. On the one day I didn't sleep I felt quite ill in the evening, and was very concerned going to sleep that evening, as I knew if I felt that way in the morning I would have to pull out of the route. But a good nights' sleep sorted it.
As sleep was so crucial for me, I took high quality ear plugs and mask, and had 1/2 a sleeping tablet every night - to make sure I slept enough.
I also had very warm gloves with me, as the chemo has damaged the nerves in my hands so the cold is very bad for them. If you have this too, take winter gloves as well as summer ones, and put them on before you need them
I hope this helps - sounds like the walking you have been doing will be good prep for the TMB. Enjoy and get some great pics too!

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