Climber Meal Planning – 3 and 4 Day Climbs

Overview

Food is one of the basic pleasures of wilderness travel. There are countless options for putting together healthy and delicious meals for long wilderness trips, depending on how much time, effort and money you have to spend on preparation before and cooking during the trip. Meal planning and preparation is a must.

Basic Principles

A wilderness outing for climbing or backpacking requires a much higher energy expenditure on a daily basis than what you may be used to. Eating well and frequently not only sustains energy levels but also keeps positive morale and attitude. By nature, mountains have periods of inclement weather and it is important that caloric intake be high and regular to help avoid hypothermia and other cold weather and altitude related problems.

  • Your menu should consist of a well-balanced selection of food groups. It is best to plan most meals with high levels of complex carbohydrates to provide the most efficient long-term energy
    production.
  • Refined sugars, or simple carbohydrates, such as in candy, provide quick, short-term energy.
  • Proteins are necessary for good health, but not in the quantities that most people usually eat. On a short trip (3–4 days) it is not critical if protein levels are slightly deficient.
  • Fats require much more oxygen and time to metabolize, (especially at high altitudes) and this can be an important consideration when planning your meals.

Meals should also consist of foods which are light and compact. That usually means a high percentage of dried items, pastas,grains, etc. to minimize weight and bulk. Packaging should be minimal, but good organization and protecting food from weather and your backpack are also important factors.

Alpine Ascents provides breakfast, dinner, soups and hot drinks for summit climbs. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches (3 or 4 days depending on your route). Listed on the following tabs is a sample lunch menu for your climb. It is extremely important to bring the amounts listed, though items may be substituted.

3 Day Climb Lunch Bag

Jerky (Beef, Turkey, or Soy) 2 oz Bag
Trail Mix 1 cup
Salty Snack Mix 1/4 qt
Energy Bars 1 Bar
Corn Nuts 1 Packet
Large Cookies 1 Pack
Candy Bars 1 Bar
Granola Bars 1 Bar
Crackers (Peanut butter or Cheese 1 Package
Bagels (1 per day) 3 Bagels
String Cheese 2 sticks
Cheddar Cheese Squares 1 Square
Mini Cheese Rounds 1 Round
Mixed Dried Fruit 1/8 qt Bag
Hard Candy 1/8 qt Bag
Cold Drink Mix (w/ electrolytes) 2 Packets
Energy Gel 1 Packet
Gallon Zip-lock Bag 2 Bags

4 Day Climb Lunch Bag

Jerky (Beef, Turkey, or Soy) 8–10 oz Bag
Trail Mix 2 cup
Salty Snack Mix 3/4 qt
Energy Bars 2 Bars
Corn Nuts 1 Packet
Large Cookies 2 Packs
Candy Bars 2 Bars
Granola Bars 2 Bars
Crackers (Peanut butter or Cheese 2 Packages
Bagels (1 per day) 3 Bagels
String Cheese 2 sticks
Cheddar Cheese Squares 2 Squares
Mini Cheese Rounds 2 Rounds
Mixed Dried Fruit 1/4 qt Bag
Hard Candy 1/4 qt Bag
Cold Drink Mix (w/ electrolytes) 3 Packets
Energy Gel 1 Packet
Gallon Zip-lock Bag 2 Bags

The mountain guides not only showed a high level of leadership within the group but also a high level of skills and mastery of what is necessary for a very technical environment that offers challenges.

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