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- 26/11/2010 at 7:09 am #105130DianneyoungMember
Intending to walk the track with a friend in July 2011. Would like to ask, how do the treks cater for the different walking speeds of individuals within a trek? What happens if a trekker is much slower than others in the group??
Thanks again, Dianne27/11/2010 at 3:58 am #105184Boss MeriMember
Hi Dianne, thanks for posting your message. Every trek has a designated stop point and irrespective of how many trekkers the forward group cannot pass whatever the guide has agreed on. Whilst we try and keep our trekkers close to each other for obvious reasons at times there is a big difference between the lead group and the ones at the rear.
Each trek has a guide up the front and one at the rear or as some refer to as the sweeper. One trekker by the name of Brian who regularly posts on our website one day took from memory around 13 hours to reach the others in the group due to some problems he was facing on that day. Our staff were confident if he could only stick it out that they would get him across the finish line, and that they did!
So whilst the others were tucked up in bed resting the likes of Brian could be out there placing one foot after the other to try and make the campsite. At this point I would add that it does not occur everyday but there has been quite a few who have struggled but who have still made it. We had another guy in his seventies who appeared to have one leg shorter then the other. He had long days everyday but still managed to walk off the track having successfully completing his trek.
Very quickly into the trek our staff will know who will be doing it tougher then others. Mostly between themselves they mark out various food porters to hang with the slower trekker. If someone is really struggling, the boys will get the group into camp and one or two will go back empty to help take the backpack off a personal porter to allow him to concentrate fully on pulling/pushing/lifting/carrying – whatever, just to allow that trekker to follow their dream. In fact the stories I hear you would be surprised the level they will go to just to help someone who is doing it tough.
Some trekkers walk completed unaided and the porter just carries their pack whilst others are only too willing to accept help whenever needed.
So please do not worry too much about being the slowest as it really doesnt matter very much. A lot of trekkers are air lifted off if the guide feels they do not have a chance of completing the walk but from my experience it has always been from a medical problem not from being 'too slow'.27/11/2010 at 5:57 am #105129DianneyoungMember
Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.
You have been very reassuring. While both of us have an ok base fitness (play sport, have done gold coast kokoda) I was uncertain of the emphasis that would be placed on 'keeping up with the pack" when trekking the Kokoda. We have 7 months to prepare and after seeing your reply I am more eager than ever.
Thanks again, Dianne27/11/2010 at 11:09 pm #105131peterh13Member
We did Kokoda 18 months ago and were spread out for miles along the track. Somedays we only saw the other trekkers when we all stopped for a cuppa or some lunch as they were so far in front of us.
Everyone just cruised at their own speed.It was no big deal.
Peter.17/02/2011 at 7:12 am #105217JOHNOMember
A FRIEND OF MINE AND MYSELF DID KOKODA [ OWERS TO KOKODA ] IN AUGUST/SEPT . WE TRAINED ON MT DANDENONG FOR 7 WEEKS AND WERE ABLE TO COMPLETE THE TREK IN 6 DAYS . AS WE WERE BOTH APPROX THE SAME FITNESS LEVEL [ WE ARE 60 PLUS ] WE WERE ABLE TO WALK AT THE SAME SPEED BUT SEEING HOW THE GUIDES AND PORTERS WORKED WITH OTHER PASSING GROUPS IT DOESNT MATTER IF ONE IS SLOWER THAN THE REST OF THE GROUP ,THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE THERE . AS FAR AS FITNESS GOES WE FOUND THIS AS MUCH A MENTAL CHALLENGE AS PHYSICAL . THE HILLS ARE EXTREMELY STEEP AND ON THE FIRST DAY YOU FIND YOURSELF LOOKING FOR THE TOP . JUST REMEMBER YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE SHAPE OR DISTANCE YOU HAVE TO GO SO JUST ADOPT THE "KOKODA SHUFFLE " AND CONCENTRATE ON YOUR BREATHING RYTHM . IF YOU ARE GETTING PUFFED YOU ARE GOING TOO HARD. THE EXPERIENCE IS VERY HUMBLING AND WELL WORTH THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRAIN. A SMALL TIP TAKE SOME SALT AND PEPPER AS THE MEALS CAN BE PRETTY BLAND .I HOPE YOU ENJOY YOURSELF AS MUCH AS WE DID
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