How To Prepare For Your Upper Dolpo Trek? A Fitness Guide
Preparing for Upper Dolpo Trek

Trekking to Upper Dolpo is one of the world’s least popular hiking destinations, once in your life, and one of our most iconic trekking adventures. Peter Matthiessen’s classic travel book, The Snow Leopard, is the worldwide pioneer in Upper Dolpo’s popularity. If you are heading to Dolpo, it is well worth reading. There is no lack of information on how to prepare for and undertake a trek to Upper Dolpo. Here are some tips for preparing for the Upper Dolpo Trek and getting the most out of a hike among the world’s wilderness adventures.

Fitness is a significant benchmark for trekking, for the Upper Dolpo trek needs a lot of planning and preparation before you get on the trail. But first, it is necessary to prepare you correctly for the Upper Dolpo Trek. The more fit you get into the Upper Dolpo challenge, the more likely you will enjoy this incredible journey!

Preparing Yourself Physically

The Upper Dolpo Trek is the ultimate destination for explorers, but this trek is not easy. Before you decide to hit the trail and climb up to witness the magic, you need to do a lot of physical and mental preparation. The Upper Dolpo trek difficulty level is six on the Himalayan Exploration Rating Scale, which means it’s challenging.

The Upper Dolpo is a strenuous trek, and you must put a lot of effort into being physically strong to take up the incredible challenge.

Training for Upper Dolpo involves several aspects, such as cardiovascular training, trekking, strength training, and altitude training.


You will be walking gradually during your challenge, taking it slowly, but due to the lack of oxygen when trekking at a high altitude will feel considerably more complex than at home.

Cardiovascular training is essential to gain muscle stamina and enhance lung and heart performance. It would help if you took up biking or swimming to begin cardiovascular exercise. It enables you to get a good head start for the complicated modules and helps in the long run.

Cardiovascular Training for trekking
Cardiovascular Training

Activities like cycling, jogging, and walking on an inclined treadmill all help boost cardiovascular fitness and can be completed as well as your walking training.


Strength training helps develop the upper body’s endurance and lower body’s strength and improves physical and mental stamina. It is necessary to have a strong body while trekking, which can sustain harsh weather conditions, high altitudes, and challenging terrain. The most effective exercises are squats, lunges, push-ups, dips, step-ups, bench presses, and rows. As you gain strength, you can start the free weights training to take it to the next level.

Strength Training


What is the right way to prepare for trekking? Simple, get out, and walk out in the great outdoors! Our Upper Dolpo Challenge includes trekking back and forth for 18 days, ranging from 8 to 18 km daily, so stamina is crucial!

Trekking Training
Trekking Training

You need trekking training to ascend and descend quickly on the route. The ascent may be very steep on some trails, so you need high endurance to climb in those parts of the track. Hiking along small trails with some weight on the back helps to build confidence and strength for the trek. To increase your efficiency, you can gradually increase your weight. That will also help ramp up your pace.

Altitude Training
Altitude Training

Preparing Yourself Mentally

Most of us tend to neglect this, but being fully mentally prepared before you decide to go on an expedition is very important. During the trek, there will be several instances when you need to overcome your fears and push just a little harder to catch to the final point. The ascends and descends of the trek test your physical skills, but without determination, it won’t be possible to push your limits and do what it takes to get to the top.


If it’s your first trekking experience – don’t be put off by the training thought! It’s usual feeling a little bit nervous. Keep in mind; it’s not a race. Keep moving slowly so you can relax and soak up the surroundings along the way. A guide will always walk to the back of the group, so don’t feel like you need the fastest walker to keep up. Trekking is about moving one foot in front of the other at the end of the day. You are most comfortable with it at a pace.


It’s essential to understand the grading of your trip listed in your travel notes to know what kind of trekking you’ll be experiencing on your journey. In addition, understanding your travel itinerary will help shape your training sessions and advise you on how much training you need each week leading up to your trip.

Many factors contribute to the difficulty of the Upper Dolpo Trek, including duration, terrain, altitude, and weather condition. Such grading factors do not consider personal abilities or experience; please get in touch with us if you have questions about your fitness.

Now, when we say this, I’m sure several questions will be in your mind. Some of the questions we often face are, is Upper Dolpo Trek safe? When should I do Upper Dolpo Trek? Is it hard or dangerous to hike Upper Dolpo? Or how many days are required for Upper Dolpo Trek?

But there’s one question every trekker has to ask oneself.

How Can I Do Upper Dolpo Trek?

The Upper Dolpo Trek is an excellent destination for adventurers in a peaceful, pristine, and mysterious high-altitude area who wishes to face physical challenges and a beautiful wilderness adventure.

Before you decide to do the trek, you need to know what kind of experience is required for the tour. Here are some key points that you need to take into account:

  • Having completed at least 18-21 days of trekking experience in the Himalayas.
  • Having done At least one more moderate-level trek in the Himalayas.
  • Hiking experience at altitudes above 4400 meters up to 5000 meters.
Upper Dolpo Trek Preparation
Your Trek Fitness Guide

Although the abovementioned experience and skills are essential, it is also necessary to be fully prepared for the Upper Dolpo trek.

The Upper Dolpo trek will be an easy-to-complete trek for you, with all these tips and tricks for training and preparation. You will judiciously follow the schedule for 1-2 months to enjoy the excursion to the best of your ability without any difficulties.

About Author

Kumar Lama
Kumar Lama is a founder of Himalayan Exploration Treks Pvt. Ltd. He is leading a team of travel professional offering tailor made travel services across Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.


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