Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kalalua Trail training: Hike #1

As I highlighted in my "looking forward" post for 2015, in August, Ryan and I will be backpacking the Kalalua trail.

To a seasoned backpacker, this may be a walk in the park. But for me, this is a big challenge!! It is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous hikes in the world.

What it will entail:

Hiking 11 miles through mountains, hugging a cliff, through rainforests to a beach. This is described as "difficult" terrain with steep inclines and sharp cliffs. If you lose balance and fall off that cliff, you will most likely die. If hiking those 11 miles in isn't enough challenge, try it with 30 pounds on your back.

Then we will camp overnight on a secluded beach. Wake up on the morning of our 6 year Anniversary (awwww), and then do the 11 mile hike all over again.

(I anticipate there will be many mai tai's consumed the night we complete this, and arrive to our hotel. And I've already been warned about this incredible dive-of-a-burger-joint in Kauai we need to hit up afterwards. My mouth already waters....)

Our Training:

So let's just say, we have decided to train for this one. ;) Our schedules are insane and don't really match. After Feburary 1, Ryan works 21 days straight. So finding time to do a 5 hour hike is tricky. So our goal is to do at least 1 big hike carrying weight per month.

*Remember 5-6 days/week we are running, biking, lifting weights. So it's not like we are sedentary.

During the week when we cannot hike, we will use the stair-mill at the gym. That best assimilates hiking.

In May, we are hoping to do a "test run" and backpack the Grand Canyon. Oh darn. ;)

Our 1st training hike:

We did a hike called "Phoneline Trail" - which was a 8 mile out-and-back. It was good practice. Steep enough to make your legs burn. For about 6 miles of it, you are essentially walking along the wall of a canyon.

I plan to gradually increase how much weight I carry - just like you would increase milage while training for a marathon. So I carried 12 pounds on my back.

12 pounds really isn't much, but I will say when you're trying to push up an incline, or pick up the pace: you feel it!

It was a beautiful hike, and the miles few by! We stayed to our goal, which was around 20 min/mile.

Ryan is a "bit" more brave than I. This picture doesn't do justice, but he climbed up a wall to pose for this! He felt on top of the world.

The views on this trail on un-believable! That canyon wall is my favorite. Especially in the summer months, because it blocks that brutal sun! ;)
Our next hike:
We will be going out on February 1 for an 8-10 miler again. This time I'm going to carry 20 pounds, and I'm actually going to wear my Osprey backpack.
If you saw the movie or read the book "Wild", you may remember her bruises. This is a true phenomenon. When we did our Black River trip last May, I had some mad bruises on my hips afterwards.
So this time, I'm going to train to find the "hot spots" on my pack - and hopefully have REI help me out with them before our trip!
**speaking of Wild, I freaking loved that movie!! I know there were some mixed reviews. Maybe it's because I love backpacking so much. It is close to my heart.
I am getting excited! We have our tickets book, and our trip all mapped out!!


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Oh man, I don't think even the most experienced hiker would describe that hike as a 'walk in a park'! It sounds so intense but I am sure it will be an amazing experience. And if anyone can conquer it, it's you guys. It's great that you live in an area where you have the ability to train for it on challenging hikes!

I haven't seen Wild but I want to see it when it's out on DVD. I had some big issues with the book (she was totally, dangerously unprepared and I had big issues with some of the decisions she made especially related to infidelity) but overall it was really interesting so I'd like to see how they make it into a movie! It's good to hear that you liked it!

Barb Geier said...

Will you use trekking poles?

Amber said...

Oh I CAN'T WAIT to see Wild! I absolutely loved that book!

I think this is such an awesome challange/trip you guys have planned and I can't wait to read all about it! We do lots of hiking and lots of camping but we are yet to do any backpacking. I would like to try it though!

Marlys said...

Well, now as your "worry for my children" Mom, that description leaves me in a state of fear! I hope you train well so that you don't fall! I so don't want to lose you or Ryan! I hope the weather is good and it doesn't rain when you are on that hike as then it might be slippery!
You don't sound frightened so I will worry for you instead!
I'm a MOM, you know!
And as Barb asked, will you use trekking poles?

Marlys said...

Also, my fear of heights enters into this worry! I would probably faint or pass out if I was on that hike and that would be the end and it's not how I want to leave this earth! Are you laughing at me? I have never conquered my fear of heights!