Gearing Down

gearing-downIn less than twenty days I will be heading to the Big E.  As the departure date for Katmandu nears, I have been receiving many of comments about how I must be in a really high gear of my training.  It is exactly the opposite; I have been and will continue to be gearing down.  That said, I am still training 7 – 10 hours a week but along with the time, the intensity has been lessened.

The fact is, with climbing as a passion I always train.  While it would be extremely trite to say Everest is just another mountain (because it is not, it is in a class all by itself because of its height), in some ways to me this is another climb on the list of climbs that I want to do.  I recently reflected about how many days I have been in the mountains climbing the past 12 months.  Without getting a calendar out and meticulously reviewing the days, I have spent a little more or a little less than fifty days, either rock climbing, alpine style accents, mountaineering and lots of ice climbing.  It has always been stated that the best way to train for climbing is to climb, and in this last year and years prior, climb I have.

photo-1For Everest I have several goals in mind:  1) increase my VO2 max; 2) increase strength 3) increase body weight.   These can be reviewed at the 3 goals blog with more detail.   Unspoken and unwritten I had two other goals.  Do not obsess and over train and do not get injured.   Currently, I feel I have hit all these goals – so my training has shifted.  No more ice climbing for the season (I do not want to risk getting injured), no more 6 days a week intense training sessions (I do not want to over train).  I am spending more time working on gear than on my fitness level.  I have been marching around in my La Sportiva Olympus Mons Evo boots making sure they are broken in.  I needed a new pack so when I have been marching with the new boots I loaded a 55 lb sand bag in the pack to see how it handled the weight.

Lucky for me there is still a lot of snow where I was this last weekend.  A coulee in the Cypress Hill was full of snow and provided windswept “snow slopes” to traverse and climb laps on, with “cornices” to navigate and bust through to reach the “ridge.”   I marched for about 1.5 hours each day with training supplemented by other activities.  All in all, it was perfect training gearing down for what soon will be a lot of climbing up.

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