Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spring Ain't Far Away!

Spring ain't far away. And that can mean only one thing...climbing in "The Range!"

The whole intense training aspect of climbing has always been something I've more or less taken lightly. A little weight lifting here, some mountain hiking there, throw in some overnight climbs, lots of ice climbing and pulling on plastic and that's about it.

As I progress as a climber (see: get beat like a redheaded stepchild in Yosemite, snow turtle up 11,300 in a winter snow pack, and wish I had a little more endurance on day three)...I start to see the importance of a higher level of intensity training.

Lucky me! This year a trainer from the Alaska Rock Gym started doing a type of mountain training class twice a week. Now I've done plenty of Mountain Athlete's workouts before, the high intensity circuit training meant to tax the body. It's a lot of mid-to-high rep, high set work outs done in a mostly rapid time frame. See: you end up throwing up in your mouth on occasion.

The difference between my own personal workouts and the ones put on by Mike Barcom of ARG is huge. See: I'm lazy and weights are heavy. If I do the workout on my own it's easy to take an extra 10-15 seconds and catch a few breaths. When Mike is coaching and you're trying to keep up with some guy next to you, you get a momentum that is hard (for me anyways) to achieve solo.

So it's been about five weeks since I've started the group workouts and I can confidently say that I am feeling significantly stronger. In the next five weeks I will step it up significantly, throwing in more and more cardio before tapering off. After all, We fly out to the Revelations in a mere six weeks.

On that note...

I am absolutely stoked out of my frickin' mind to announce that Seth and I just received the 2010 McNeill-Nott Award. The committee awarded us a grant in the ungodly generous amount of $2000. Words cannot even begin to express our gratitude!

Without the support of grant programs like this and others, all under the American Alpine Club, there is no way we would be able to afford to pursue our dreams in remote areas.

For more information on the grant programs offered by the American Alpine Club, please visit their website: American Alpine Club Grant Program.