Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Week Two of Laura's Training

This past week brought some nice weather out on Mt. Rainier, so I decided to go for a ski tour. I wanted to go up to Camp Muir to get 4,600 ft of elevation gain. I loaded up the pack with a fair bit of weight (around 40lbs) to practice carrying a larger load than a normal trip to Muir for an extended period of time. I figured that I would try to keep an average pace (up to Muir in less than 4 hours) with that amount of weight. Since I wanted to have a fun ski down with less than 40lbs on my back, to create the weight to carry I put a couple garbage bags filled with snow into the bottom of the pack. This way, when I got up to Muir I could quickly shed the majority of the weight that I carried uphill and have a more lightweight ski down without leaving anything up on the mountain. I also figured this would be nice in the event of bad whether or needing to suddenly shed weight to get up more quickly, I could if necessary. This worked out well with no leaking from the big snowball in my bag.

I also got some yoga in a couple times this week. Yesterday, I went to the gym for some time on the elliptical. I put 50lbs in the pack, tossed in a DVD and used the elliptical on high resistance. This was obviously fairly slow moving but got the legs and hips feeling the workout. I also did an abdominal routine as well as various weight exercises. I finished off the time at the gym with an additional bit on the elliptical. More to come later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Laura is training for McKinley!

We're following our employee, Laura as she trains to climb Mount McKinley! Check back for weekly updates on Laura's training routine and progress!


I found out the other day that I am going to be able to join the June 8th McKinley Expedition with RMI! Needless to say, I am totally excited. I have been itching to get up to Alaska, and to have the opportunity to climb McKinley has been a dream of mine for a while. With the trip approaching quickly, my mind has shifted towards training and preparation. I would say that I am in decent shape after a season of skiing, ski touring, and having a summit of Rainier under my belt this winter. However, the thought of carrying a significantly heavier pack for many days in a row at altitude makes me want to be sure that I am ready. The following is the first of many entries that I will make leading up to June 8th detailing what I am doing to train.

This week I had three days off, so I was able to get a day of skiing in on the first day. Skiing is definitely one of my favorite winter sports and I figure that a full day sliding around should be a good workout for the legs. My second day off I decided that I should load up the backpack with about 50 lbs and go for a hike. I wanted to get an idea for any issues I had with the pack, adjust the straps a bit, and of course begin training my hips for all the comforts of bearing more weight than usual. I only had a couple hours, so I went out to a nearby hill that has a nice trail. I went up and down a few times, trying to keep a relatively quick steady pace. Of course we will be moving more slowly in Alaska, but we will also have sleds. I didn’t think hauling a sled up a muddy trail would work out too well. This was helpful, and a couple days later…my hipbones don’t hurt anymore. On my third day off, I hit the gym. I warmed up on the elliptical for a bit. I then moved to some weight training (biceps, triceps, squats). I also spent a while on abs. A strong core always helps. I finished off the time at the gym with some pedaling on the bike. I also do yoga twice a week. I have noticed this to be extremely applicable to mountaineering as it pertains to focus on the breath, as well as ability to calm the mind in stressful situations. Of course, the strength and flexibility are advantageous as well. Doing yoga and having the ability to understand what is going on with your body helps with faster recovery…so stretch on! Anywho…more next week!