Written by Alpenglow Guide, Mike Pond
Eating Philosophy for Climbing
For all Mount Shasta Climbing and Skiing programs, we will provide breakfasts and dinners on the mountain. You will be responsible for providing your own food during the climbing day. We will not have a proper “lunch,” but will instead carry food to eat on the go during the day. A typical climbing pattern is to travel for an hour, rest for 10 minutes, during which you can eat, drink, adjust layers, etc. Individually packed items are great to stick in your pockets for easy eating on the go, and putting some drink mix in your water can help with energy and electrolytes.
Most people find that bars and Gu packets only go so far. A little more “real food” makes for a happier stomach and better energy. The most important thing is to try out, in advance, the food that you’ll use on this trip. Don’t throw in a wild card on your summit day! This is true of everything, not just your food – tent, gear, boots – all worth getting well acquainted with before you climb.
Some of my favorites include:
– Bars with more “real” food in them. Probars and Larabars are a favorite, but find what you like.
– Gu or similar gels or blocks. If you do well with caffeine, having some helps.
– Aussie Bites
– Pre-cooked veggie burgers
– Cheese packets/ string cheese
– Meat sticks
– Snickers or other candy. Please don’t only bring candy, though.
Calculating How Much Fuel to Bring
For me, what works better than calculating grams of carbs or protein, is to count the calories per day. For a regular travel day, bring about 1000 calories. For a summit day, a few hundred extra calories gives some extra reserves – 1500 should do fine.
To reiterate, the big thing is to try out what works for you before the climbing trip. Everyone is different – make sure the type and amount of food works for your body!