Learning crevasse rescue. MM collection
Approaching the lift station at Aiguille to Midi unger. Geoff Unger photo
Dylan Taylor photo
Mountain Madness photo
Mountain Madness photo
Dylan Taylor photo
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Training

Trip:
Mont Blanc Mountaineering School
Location:
Europe
Mountain Madness will help you prepare for your trip

The best words of advice we can give you for preparing for your trip are these: train for endurance! Whether you are joining Mountain Madness on a trek or climb, a focus on endurance training will serve you well. This does not require hours and hours of time in the gym or walking the local trails, but merely several rigorous weekends where you are putting some time in. We’re talking 6-8 hours a day of exercise for a couple of consecutive days. The rest of the time, the regular hour or so, you’re maintaining your base. Consider these scenarios:

 

For Trekkers

The Incas of ancient Peru dealt with the topographic challenge of their steep, convoluted landscape by building stairs. For trekkers this means “Stairmaster” is your friend. The four day Inca Trail trek includes two relatively easy days of 4-6 hours of trekking, but the other two serve up 2,000-3,0000-feet of both ascent and descent, some on steep staircases that will burn up your quads if they are not trained for consecutive days of Inca-style walking. Combine Stairmaster with some long walks over several weekends and you’re good to go. For Everest Base Camp and Kilimanjaro trekkers it means having the energy left to ascend the 18,450-foot Kala Pattar or getting up the 3,000-foot climb of the Western Breach on Kilimanjaro, both challenges at over 18,000-feet and after many days of trekking. It’s all about endurance.

 

For Expedition Climbers

You’ve just put in more than a week moving loads up Aconcagua, we’re talking 40-50 pounds of gear up 2,000+ feet. These are days that you are working hard at altitude for 5-8 hours. There are a couple of rest days in the itinerary to recover, but at altitude your body never recovers fully. Next up summit day! Are you ready for the nearly 4,000-foot climb, 10-15 hour day on the go at almost 23,000-feet? We can ensure you will be oxygen deprived, slightly dehydrated, super excited, and tired. Are you ready for this? If you’ve been endurance training you will be.

 

For Alpine Climbers

The majestic Mount Baker in the North Cascades may not seem that tall when you arrive at the trailhead, but it’s deceptive. From your first step toward the summit you will have more than 7,000-feet of elevation gain and descent to cover over three days. Not insurmountable by any means, but it’s not 18-holes of golf either! For the classic West Ridge of Forbidden, it’s not the approach that will get you, it’s the almost 6,000-foot descent after the climb back to the car that will have your legs screaming - it’s all about endurance!

Mountain Madness is proud to partner with Peabody Altitude Training: Low elevation training for high altitude climbs.

Cutting-edge technology allows us to simulate a high altitude environment up to 19,000 feet. Our complete training facility offers customized programming for your needs, including options to both "train high" and "sleep high." We have the tools for strength training, cardio and endurance workouts, as well as accommodations for sleeping at altitude to aid in acclimatization prior to traveling to high altitude regions.

- Peabody Altitude Training

Some basic suggestions may include the following:

  • Walk hills and stairs with a pack on. Later you can add full water containers for the way up and dump the water for the way down to preserve the knees.
  • Supplement your regular gym workouts with running, cycling, swimming racquet sports, basketball, etc. for aerobic conditioning.
  • Getting outdoors and walking, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk to the grocery store.