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Alpining for the first time in september

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Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Ryuuka » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:56 am

Hello Everyone i am planning to go Alpine climbing for the first time this september. Already i am planning to build up my condition through a lot of running and working in the gym. However i have had some experience climbing in a climbing hall but not much else.

Is it wise to do in september?
Should i wait and train longer?
Any recommendations for excerises?

Using this chart as a guideline: http://www.alpineascents.com/pdf/denali-train-chart.pdf

The reason training for this is tricky for me is that i live in the netherlands wich is possibly the flattest country on earth. Mountain training is a bit difficult.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby sm176811 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:10 pm

Welcome! I would recommend that you join a mountaineering school/group to get proper training. In alpinism, there are much more fundamentals to learn than getting your body trained to handle physical needs (safety, first aid, techniques, understanding terrain, etc)

I would recommend that you pick up the book 'Freedom of the hills' (http://www.amazon.com/Mountaineering-Freedom-Hills-50th-Anniversary/dp/1594851387) to understand the theory, but join a local mountaineering school before venturing out.

With regards to the time of the year, I reckon that you check out the respective summitpost pages for guidance on when to climb the mountain that you are interested in.

Finally, be safe and enjoy yourself!

:geek: :geek: :geek:
Last edited by sm176811 on Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Ryuuka » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:38 pm

I am doing the alpine course via the official dutch mountaineering association so i do not expect any problems there :)
The only problem that i am worried about is that my condition will not be sufficient comming september
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby sm176811 » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:41 pm

I think 9 months is a long time to train up; especially if you are structured and diligent about it.

Best!
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby mvs » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:55 pm

Find a 10 story building and hike up and down the stairs for an hour a day (ipod required :D). I think running on flat ground is not nearly so important for mountaineering. Have fun, and make sure to read both instruction books and chilling narratives on the activity every night!
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby brrrdog » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:43 pm

I'll put in my two cents as a rookie myself - it depends on what you're climbing. There's no such thing as over prepared but unless you're actually climbing denali, a denali training regimen is overkill unless you're significantly out of shape. If you're already athletic I'd concentrate on a good blend for a couple of months. For me, I was all over the map.

I did one to three of the following each week:
-I was pushing a double jogging stroller (with kids) thru the snowy roads for long walks and then pushing them up a hill when the snow melted.
-I bought a cheap stepper on ebay. I started with 25 lbs in my pack and would do 10 minutes with the pack and 10 minutes without for 30-40 minutes. I upped it to 50lbs about 2 months out.
-I would do 20 to 30 minutes of p90x plyometrics (never could do the whole damn thing)
-An hour of mountain biking
-A hard 30 minute bike ride with the kids in the bike trailer

I also did upper body weight training twice a week. And some hard lower body training a few times.

I don't think there was more than a week or two that I got more than 4 workouts in a single week. Never close to 8 times a week as a starter from the Denali schedule.

Two things that were critical was the stepper and pushing my two kids up a steep hill (I would do it repeatedly). Both were good lessons on how hard the exercise became by adding in the weight and the vertical element. But to be honest the stepper was harder than climbing the actual mountain - it was a good way to break a massive sweat but the monotony of it was aweful - nothing like being on a mountain - and I guess that's why I say watch out for overtraining - i wouldn't want you to burn yourself out.

Honestly the far more important lesson I learned from my first failed attempt was nutrition. We ate far too little and infrequently and had started dragging. The next time we ate every hour and never ran out of gas. I bought an insulated camel back tube so I could have constant and easy access to water in all but the coldest temps. On our next trip we've already decided that our selection the last time sucked. We were sick of what we had so we started avoiding eating on the decent. Clif bars are getting traded for more chocolate granola bars, shot blocks are getting traded for fruit leathers. I little powdered drink mix will keep water from getting boring. And we'll take advantage of civilization by packing a sandwitch or something that we'll eat on the first day. Yes you should avoid a backpack full of junk food but ultimately it's important that you pack what you like.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby brrrdog » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:47 pm

mvs wrote:Find a 10 story building and hike up and down the stairs for an hour a day (ipod required :D). I think running on flat ground is not nearly so important for mountaineering. Have fun, and make sure to read both instruction books and chilling narratives on the activity every night!


Forgot about stairs - I avoided elevators like the plague during a 3 or 4 month period - except of course when I went up only to find my destination floor was locked from the stairwell side and had to go back down to the elevator :P
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby WyomingSummits » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:37 am

I do a lot of outdoor training during summer and fall, which in northern Wyoming isn't very long. A lot of hilly bike rides towing my kids in a bike trailer. I'm an avid rock climber so that helps a lot as far as approach hikes with full pack and just the climbing itself is very beneficial, especially when it comes to the mental and technical aspects of hard alpine. During the long winters, I'm in the gym 5 days a week, which also has a great climbing wall with auto belays and prob 30-40 routes that are 45ft high. Weight lift 4 days per week with close attention to core and leg muscles. Don't forget to exercise your secondary muscles such as hip flexors by doing side leg extensions and such....they are very important for stabilization, especially when carrying a full load on uneven ground. I try to use free weights as much as possible, and a great exercise is to use a large step to perform step-up on while holding two dumbbells. I'm currently doing those with two 45lb dumbells and am noticing great improvement in balance as well as strength. I spend prob 45 minutes a day on stair steppers and treadmills on an extreme incline.....as far as the incline will go. Also, don't forget to perform step downs by standing on a stool with the dumbells and stepping down facing the direction you would have been stepping up from in the step ups. This will work the muscles responsible for putting on your brakes on the downhill.....very important for staying injury free. I also swim, ride the stationary bike, work in the climbing wall twice a week....yada yada. The best thing is start your workout and tweak it for your individual needs.....everyone is different. I see a much bigger benefit from cycling than many people do.....different things work for different folks! Most of all, while making your workout enjoyable is important, it's also important to put in a long, hard cardio session that's boring and works you very hard so you can practice the mental aspect of fatigue and keeping your focus.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Catamount » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:19 am

FWIW, I've found swimming is a great way to train for the mountains. The key things you're looking to do is to build stregnth and endurance while keeping body mass down. Swimming addresses all of those things. No better full body workout. Low impact as well so the chance of a training injury is slim.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Ryuuka » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:00 pm

Thanks for all the tips everyone :)

Sounds good already doing strength training in the gym 3 times a week and i am als rock climbing once a week. So i think i am going to supplement that by running 3 times a week as well. probably starting next week when i got running shoes. Next week will probably the most intense workout week of my life. Have never worked out and trained so much in my life. :D

btw additional question: What type of running shoes should i buy? Regular or barefoot shoes? Can't really tell what would be the better option.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Sierra Ledge Rat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:13 pm

mvs wrote:Find a 10 story building...


Excellent recommendation. You've got to train as specifically as possible. If you can't train by hiking in the hills, then at least climb stairs.

Running is also important for endurance. Some weight lifting for a little extra strength.

Ryuuka wrote:btw additional question: What type of running shoes should i buy? Regular or barefoot shoes? Can't really tell what would be the better option.


You need padding in your shoes. The "barefoot" shoes will collapse your arches and subject your feet to stress fractures and other injuries. The moron who invented those "barefoot" shoes should be shot.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Ryuuka » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:09 am

Sierra Ledge Rat wrote:You need padding in your shoes. The "barefoot" shoes will collapse your arches and subject your feet to stress fractures and other injuries. The moron who invented those "barefoot" shoes should be shot.


Thank god i didn't buy those then :D . i got the Dart 9 shoes from Nike and going try if i can get acces to Dom tower in utrecht to do this.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby rgg » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:20 pm

While the beginners course of the Dutch alpine society requires good fitness, you don't have to be a strong athlete. Basically, all sorts of aerobic exercise are good preparation. If you are already in reasonable shape to begin with, three months should be enough to get ready, so September is no problem. You could easily go in July already.

Running outside has the added advantage of toughening up your feet, which I personally find helpful in preventing blisters when I go out in the mountains. If you choose something else than running, you can still get the same effect by regularly walking a couple of hours.

If you have no experience with running, make sure that you start slow and don't overdo it. Especially if you are already reasonably fit, you may find that you can already go jogging for a good distance three times a week - but then, before you know it, you get shin splints or some other problem and can't run for weeks. There are many good resources on the web regarding running for beginners, as well as explaining the dangers of getting injured by running too much too soon. The main rule is that you stop running when you feel pain.

Fortunately, there is no objection to mixing it up with other forms of exercise, so, while getting your legs accustomed by running relatively short distances at first, you can make your heart stronger by cycling, swimming or by using the cardio machines in the gym. My favorite is the cross trainer. Also, the treadmill in the gym is easier on your legs than running outside, and much less likely to get you injured.

You're not allowed to run up the Dom tower. Apart from that, running up the stairs of any high building is a fine way to exercise, but boring if you do it regularly if you ask me. And if you run down as well, it will be murder on your knees over time. You'll need those for many more years!

Climbing experience is not necessary at all for the alpine beginners course. It certainly does no harm, but the course starts from zero.

Good luck, Rob
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Re: How to Train for Mountaineering

Postby robertjoy » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:51 pm

Mountaineering does NOT require great strength, great agility, great endurance. It does require physical familiarity with the unique demands of mountaineering.
I have trained high school students for mountaineering for many years. I have come to believe that the primary conditioning needed is psychological, but by this I mean the psychology of the body. The body needs to become accustomed to the specific demands of mountain climbing.
There are many ways to improve your general fitness and endurance, but your body will still be quite UNWILLING to endure a long alpine ascent if you have not introduced the experience of a 6-8 hour day of carrying a pack. Also, you must somehow get accustomed to UPHILL hiking.
Here's what you need to do:
Go on a long hike, minimum 6-8 hours, once a week.
On this long hike, carry a pack that weighs about 15-20 lbs.
Wear your alpine boots on these hikes.
Do not try to go fast, just "brisk", 3mph on flat ground?
(You must be able to find some hill, for heavens sake!)
If no hills, the suggestion to hike the stairs on a tall building with no stopping is fine, probably twice a week.
And finally, Let's say that DENALI is the Tour de France of mountains. You should not consider that the training schedule you attached is tailored for more moderate mountains. And you would be foolish to consider climbing Denali as your first alpine experience.
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Re: Alpining for the first time in september

Postby Ryuuka » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:06 am

Finally got th Mountaineering: Freedom of the hills in today :D

time to do some reading. Training is probably going to start next week when snow is gone. Thanks for the help everyone
:D
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