Saturday, September 26, 2009

Training for Alpine Climbing

Many clients and people I meet at slide shows or shops ask me how I train for alpine climbing, and I never have a concrete answer. I have never kept training logs, but over the next five months I am going to detail my training as I get ready for my upcoming trips to Alaska and Nepal in the Spring and Pakistan in the Summer. I have a decent aerobic base, and decent overall strength, but I just took one month off after the K2, Broad Peak and Latok II season due to fatigue, so I will start from the beginning to build back up to better climbing strength, and it wont happen overnight that is for sure. I had moderate nerve damage in my toes as well from this summer, which has been fun to deal with, but is slowly going away .

There will be method to the madness some days and others will seem random, however I am looking at a five month period before peaking, and in that time I will have many periods where I peak and plateau. Training for a goal makes it easier to stay focused, the key is to be consistent and maintain desire over the duration of training.

Training for alpine climbing, specifically for my goals (mixed routes in the Ruth Gorge in early spring, guiding on Makalu in April/May and then Nanga Parbat in the summer) requires a unique combination of aerobic conditioning and power endurance. I have trouble training aerobic capacity and power at the same time, but if you want to mixed climb for many hours in a day on a cold wall in Alaska you better be able to train both at the same time. The biggest issue for me has been finding the best recovery program, so as I figure out what is working for me I will post it.

I plan to update three times a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. If you have any comments on the training please feel free to email me.

I am a big fan of training instead of reading about it; but to get started on your own program I recommend Climbing: Training for Peak Performance by Clyde Soles. As I find literature specific to the phase of training I am in, I will post it.