Training Tuesday: Mountain Athletics Week 1

Here we go. Getting my goals out in the open and making myself accountable to them has already paid off. I’ve committed time to skills training, climbing training, and now one of the more important aspects – actually training. I will be alternating Training Tuesdays with Matt. He has chosen Steve Houses: Training for the new alpinism program and I have chosen the North Face’s Mountain Athletics program. Maybe it’s not the best but as far as I can tell I’m working harder on it than I was off it, so it must be doing something right. For the next 6 weeks I will be reporting on my progress through this program. My one reservation is that it goes over New Years which is always a program killer – BUT if I want to be ready for Huntington Ravine in February I’ll have to start ASAP.

To start off here are some of my current stats:

Age: 29
Height: 5’10
Weight: 160lbs
Body Fat%: 15% (No idea if this is accurate)

Climbing Stats:
Years climbing: Started 11 years ago. Really started focusing 4.5 years ago
Highest Bouldering grade: V8
Highest Sport: 5.12a
Highest Trad: 5.11c R
Best Ice lead: WI3
Longest climb: 700m

This week is week 1 of the alpine climbing program. The first few days have been really great. For the past 6 months or so I have been climbing as much as possible, throwing in endurance running and Crossfit once a week or so. I realized the error of my ways on our trip to Mt. Khatadin where just the hike up alone with a pack had me on my ass. Sport climbing will make you a strong climber but can’t train you for long days in the mountains, running is great for cardio but without any weight not much good, and crossfit will get you sweating but a 7 min workout won’t do much for you 12 hours in 700m up.


Day 1:
30 sandbag getups @30lbs
500 stepups with a pack @45lbs
Time 38:42

Results: I sweat a lot and my legs experienced a similar burning to the 2.5 hr hike up to Chimney pond. Now if I follow this program every day I’m sure to be ready for Mt. Washington!

Day 2:
2 rounds
3 x Continuous bouldering intervals @ 30 seconds
3 x Iron Mikes
Time: 34:20

Result: This was one of the easiest workouts I’ve ever done. Almost a joke. I can only assume this is considered a rest day after yesterdays quad blast. Next time I’ll pick harder boulder problems.

I like the program so far. My one criticism is the app tries to be useful during the workouts but has some serious drawbacks. There are timers for rests but not for 30 or 60 second intervals. There are counters for reps that are hard to navigate. Finally you can’t go back to review your workout after the fact – even to see your time. I’m going to continue on this path as it has me working hard, I just tacked on 2 extra hours of bouldering at the end of the workout.

Check you in 2 weeks.


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