I found Mountain Trek when I was checking out another hiking program at Rancho La Puerta, where I've gone off and on for 30 years. Mountain Trek has started offering their program -- sort of within the Ranch's program -- several weeks in the fall and late winter, when it's too cold to hike at their own lodge in British Columbia. I'm not sure what I expected, but since it was at the Ranch -- I figured I could trust it, and I'm so glad I did. I stayed for both weeks, and lost more than 10 pounds, including 8 pounds of fat. Note that this occurred even though I came down with a bad sinus/allergy thing that led me to sit out 3 of the 6 hikes in Week 2. The only times I felt hungry on the approx. 1200-cal.-a-day was, ironically, on the change-over day between sessions when we had a "day off" from hiking and on those days I sat out due to congested sinus. It's true --extensive exercise really does suppress your appetite. Of course every single bite we ate was planned by Jeff, the dietician/guide, to offer the maximum nutrients per calorie, and it was delicious. Although the program is described as structured like a "boot camp," it was never shaming or intimidating; on the contrary, it was like having 2 incredibly nice, incredibly knowledgeable brothers (Jeff and Kirk) cheering you on. I attended right after I decided to split with my husband, and right before a big, stressful move to my new home. I've continued to lose weight even though I haven't kept up the aerobic exercise to date because of the move. (That resumes this week.) The attitudes and perspectives about food and exercise gained during my 2 weeks with Mountain Trek feel permanent -- although I plan to go back at least once more in the next year, and perhaps annually if I can swing it. I was 45 pounds overweight when I started, and had not been doing much aerobically even though I am strong due to working out with weights. They are true to their word that they'll put you with a leader and a group that will challenge you but not overwhelm you. Many of my fellow hikers were returning guests and were much more fit than I was; they all seemed to receive the challenge that they needed/sought. I can't recommend this enough to people who want to maintain/increase their fitness and stamina as they get older, rather than accept what too many people accept as the "natural deterioration" of age. I just wish there was some way that they could offer a similar program to adolescents; it could be life-changing for kids already on their way to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mountain Trek Health, Fitness & Weight Loss Retreats are high-intensity hiking fitness vacations in beautiful locations with experienced, mature guides. While the focus of many of our guests is to improve management of health issues or achieve weigh loss, we promote transformative "lifestyle" changes through the program. This includes cutting edge lectures in nutrition, sleep and stress management techniques. It's an all inclusive, highly structured boot camp style program but with heart. Included in a 2 week program; 8 massages, transportation to and from the airport, all meals, private room with en-suite, 10 mountain hikes, morning yoga sessions, evening fitness classes, usage of spa & saunas and free access to the hot springs. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Mountain Trek Hotel Ainsworth Hot Springs