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What does it take to get through a 9 jelly snaker? 

Trail running has so many rewards. Making those rewards extra sweet include navigating the challenges that present along the journey. The relationship between fun, fulfilment and accomplishment includes a healthy and balanced dose of challenge. This is something which is subjective for all adventurers. To help you work out how much challenge you are up for, we use our jelly snake tour challenge rating system. It takes into account different common challenge categories you’ll find on our tours and averages them out to give you an overall challenge rating for each tour. 

After our first section of our Gariwerd Grampians Peaks Trail Tour, which is one of our most technical and challenging tours (9 out of 10 Jelly snakes) we asked our adventurers what does it take to get through and get the most out of our most challenging tours. Here’s what our GPT crew said…

Will W – Don’t go out too hard too early. It will result in muscle fatigue and more waiting around. This also leads to getting cold and muscles tightening up. Enjoy the challenging sections, and know that finishing them, no matter how slowly, is a great effort. Also, the views are usually amazing at the end of a tough section. Or if you’re in the GPT the views are always amazing! Have some motivation to keep you going; whether it’s getting to a view or reaching the halfway mark or the brewery at the finish. 🍻

Will E – I should probably respond with something like “rock up half pissed from the night before so that you don’t know where you are for the first 10k and then when you realise it’s too later to turn back”. More seriously, more or less echoing what everyone else has said. Do everything just before it needs doing, eat before you’re hungry, drink before you’re thirsty, jacket/hat/gloves on before you’re cold. Have what you need to be largely self sufficient even on a well supported run. Don’t focus on the whole distance, break it down, and don’t get bogged down in “we’ve only done 9k in 3 hours. Oh and have more of everything. More water than you need, more food, more clothes.

Craig – Most would be familiar with the basics fuel nutrition gear but extremes of heat or cold can catch you out. The body needs consistency under these conditions so it doesn’t issue a panic response. Very much like the game plans I enjoyed observing this weekend of Annie Meg and Tim…even paced regular fueling and minimal stopping. My only advice is in cold slow moving alpine environments is to shift to much more nutrient dense fibrous fuel to keep that slow combustion fire going in the gut and keep stoking it with regular logs. Your gut will create good heat don’t let it burn low 👍.

Annie – Decent breakfast and a goods nights sleep the evening before.

Tim – Quality footwear and be prepared for all different weather.

Meg – Pace yourself, fuel regularly, have a great crew around you. Avoid the hangry. 

Jason – Take all the gear that Chris recommends, and don’t wait to use it. Your mind and body don’t work so well if you get too cold. Prepare to be out there longer than expected. It’s a mental game.

Ryan – Remembering to keep on top of your nutrition/hydration, especially early before you realise you need it. I’d also suggest stick to the beers that are <5%.

There’s some solid trail adventure advice in here. Check out our Jelly snake rating system page for more details or send us a message and ask us any questions.

Happy and Safe trails

Chris and the TB team 

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