Attempting to hike 52 mountains in a single year takes a new level of dedication to training. We have both been preparing for this trip for several years by keeping an active work-out schedule and getting as much experience hiking in a variety of environments. This February, we came together in southern California and Utah to do our first 52 Peaks training together for a week. It’s crucial for us to practice back to back training days.

In mid-February, TJ Hiker had a hike weekend. We had a good crew of fellow hikers join us for day hikes in the Santa Barbara area. We covered 31.2 miles with 9,088′ of ascent, and even made it to a HIT work-out class at Fitzone Ventura after the first day of hiking. TJ Hiker does several of these hike weekends and hike weeks throughout the year and they are a great way to train for challenging hiking trips like the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Plus, the locations are always amazing. Check out TJHiker.com for future trips or contact her for a custom trip.

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Two weeks later, we hiked in the red dirt of southern Utah for six days. We had several back to back days of great hikes to break in new shoes and packs. We had a couple of hikes that had some challenging obstacles that required ropes, chimney scoots and bouldering. TJ (and some other friends) even jumped into a freezing water hole towards the end of best hike – Red Cliffs Extreme! Crazy! All great practice for getting uncomfortable in the outdoors.

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To end the Utah trip trip, we went to Zion National Park with several of our close friends. Zion is one of those special places on the planet. Tami has now hiked there seven times since last October. We hiked the ultimate Zion hike – Angels Landing. This hike is on the list of 25 most dangerous hikes in the world, so of course, it’s a must do! The reason it is on the list is because the last half mile up and then down is narrow, rocky and assisted by chains. it is not a hike to do with any snow or ice, but in nice weather it’s fine and I would consider it fairly safe if you pay attention. If you are terribly afraid of heights, it might not be the hike for you. You would also want to start early in the day to avoid the crowds. The most dangerous thing about the trail is when a lot of people get on the trail at once.

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Our week in Utah was spent at the Movara Fitness resort which is one of the places Tami has been coming to train for 52 Peaks since October of 2015. Over the course of six months, she has been able to lose an additional 25 lbs. We will be going back to Movara for two more training weeks before 52 Peaks begins: the week of April 10 and the week of May 15, 2016. Tami will also be be adding the week of November 6th, 2016 at Movara in southern Utah as part of the 52 Peaks actual journey. During that week, we plan to revisit Angels Landing and Observation Point and want you to hike them with us! We invite you to join us for any or all of these three weeks. If you do decide to join us at Movara,  please let us know and mention 52 Peaks to Movara when you sign up!