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Mt. Rainer Training

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Mt. Rainer Training

Postby sunniemh » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:32 pm

I am considering climbing the famous Disappointment Cleaver route on Mount Rainer next summer so I can add my name to the long list of those who have traveled it. And to my list of accomplishments.

Does anyone have any training suggestions? Or words of wisdom? I am a freshie when it comes to alpine climbs. I have climbed an alpine accent of Mt Owen, the Koven route and the Middle Teton along with a few others.

Thanks!
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Postby ExcitableBoy » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:34 pm

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Postby CClaude » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:44 pm

ExcitibleBoy wrote:Here are a few tips: http://www.summitpost.org/article/50722 ... nier-.html


The article is decent. Its really not that bad, and the only reason that you should be shutdown is either weather (always a possibility) or failing to acclimate. Too many people hype it up for one reason or another. I did it as a kid (and we had cold and windy weather, like blow you down wind), so most people can do it.

Do go into it with reasonable fitness though, and the better fitness that you are in, te more fun you will have. Running or biking form a good base. The more you can get out and climb and backpack the better you'll be off. As Excitableboy mentioned, learn what you can about glacier travel and self arresting. Rainier has real glaciers with real crevasses.

Enjoy the sunrise when you are there. It is amazing.
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Postby bird » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:08 pm

Since you are in Logan, you have plenty of hills to climb/hike. Get out as much as possible with a pack on and hike up hills. Some general strength work in a gym will be a nice supplement. Lots of threads here on this topic, like this one http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=48355
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Postby bodyresults » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:14 am

Mt Rainier is a great mountain to climb and gives a good opportunity to travel across glaciers and navigate crevasses.

When training for a peak like Rainier it’s good to consider the requirements of the climb. The DC route has 9,000 feet of elevation gain. If done in a 2 day climb with a Muir camp your day 1 will be 4,700 feet of gain with an overnight pack (probably 35-50lbs) and a summit day (hardly another day since you wake up around midnight or before) of about 4,300 feet of gain with a light pack usually less than 20 pounds. This day will also include descending back to base camp and then all the way down the mountain. It can easily be a 15 hour or longer day.

Another popular option is a 3 day trip where day 1 is the same but on day 2 you move your camp about 1,000 feet higher to Ingraham Flats just below the Cleaver. This short day can give you some nice rest before the summit day and give your body more acclimatization time.

Probably the most important training component of your program will be your pack carrying. You definitely have good training areas where you live. You’ll want to progressively ramp up your pack weight (ultimately to at least your planned Rainier weight and possibly 5 pounds more), duration (time or mileage), and speed of weekly training hikes.

In addition to regular pack hikes for several hours and an in-town 1 hour or so pack session it’s a good idea to have a few back to back pack carrying outings. In order to properly prepare the body and mind for consecutive days of hard training, you need to simulate that training by carrying a pack two or more days in a row. That way you will learn how to work on less rest, even though you may feel a little sore or tired.

Most people that gravitate toward mountaineering already have been involved in quite a bit of aerobic activity however they are often much less experienced in strength training. Typically strength training will be the second priority in your training. Two to three days of full body training should allow for good strength gains.

You can read much more on Mountaineering Program development on my website.

Good luck.
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Postby jonesa37 » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:23 am

you don't need to train for rainier....
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Postby bird » Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:08 pm

jonesa37 wrote:you don't need to train for rainier....
If you are 22 years old. :wink:
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Postby mconnell » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:52 pm

bird wrote:
jonesa37 wrote:you don't need to train for rainier....
If you are 22 years old. :wink:


Or 45. OK, I was slow (at least compared to rhyang), but I certainly wasn't tired enough to consider giving up.
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Postby kheegster » Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:57 pm

Anyone who can run 5k is fit enough to climb Rainier, even if just via the RMI mule-trains....
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Postby bird » Mon Nov 16, 2009 7:45 pm

KG...true...but the fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy it.
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Postby Haliku » Mon Nov 16, 2009 8:44 pm

I'll call BS here. A 5k is nothing for conditioning. You need to be conditioned enough for multi hour slogs at altitude with pack weight. I say this as I run marathons to train for 50k and 50m races. I'm not even warmed up by 5k! :lol:

kheegster wrote:Anyone who can run 5k is fit enough to climb Rainier, even if just via the RMI mule-trains....
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Postby bird » Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:18 pm

Haliku wrote:I'll call BS here. A 5k is nothing for conditioning. You need to be conditioned enough for multi hour slogs at altitude with pack weight. I say this as I run marathons to train for 50k and 50m races. I'm not even warmed up by 5k! :lol:

kheegster wrote:Anyone who can run 5k is fit enough to climb Rainier, even if just via the RMI mule-trains....

I hear what you are saying Chris, but KG has a point. I climbed the DC once with a guy in "not so great shape" He barely made it and had a pretty unpleasant time (miserable)...but he made it. Sooo...a determined person who can run a 5K can make it. They'll probably never climb anything again. :D
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Postby Haliku » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:09 pm

In this context I agree. Though the person is putting himself at risk and those that may have to try and rescue him if he f$#ks up because he didn't take training seriously. Cheers!

bird wrote:Sooo...a determined person who can run a 5K can make it. They'll probably never climb anything again. :D
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Postby CClaude » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:56 pm

Haliku wrote:In this context I agree. Though the person is putting himself at risk and those that may have to try and rescue him if he f$#ks up because he didn't take training seriously. Cheers!

bird wrote:Sooo...a determined person who can run a 5K can make it. They'll probably never climb anything again. :D


I think most people build things up in their head too much.... If you train at a reasonable level you can do it, AND NOT be a liability.

The more you train, the more fun you will have, since you won't be as tired. If you poop out and need a rescue (or do something that makes you need a rescue because you are pooped then based on your MENTALITY you shouldn't be there. There will be some people who no matter how fit they are will be willing to throw in the towel and ask for assistance no matter how fit they are.

My attitude is Rainier is a great place to start (it was my first big mountain as a kid) and then build from there incrementally.
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Postby stamina » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:34 am

I too would like to climb Rainier this summer. But as with any mountain would like to study more as what to expect. I pulled off Longs Peak with 4800 gain/descent in one day but 9000 ft is quite an elevation gain. Plus as with any climb the descent is a vital part of the math, and pulling off a summit day of 4400-3400 gain and 9000 ft descent in one long day is something to be prepared for physically/mentally.
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