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John Frieh

Stupid Alpine Training?

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All right… most everybody has likely heard of Hermann Buhl carrying around snowballs when he ran or hiked to develop psychological tolerance and to increase capillary capacity… or at least that is the theory...

 

And you’ve likely read in some ‘Extreme’ how to books that:

 

- the occasional ice cold shower

- bouldering in boots with a backpack and gloves on

- etc etc

 

…are all good ways to ‘train for’ and ‘simulate’ alpine conditions.

 

Yeah they work... (then again some maybe not?) but admit it… you look and feel like an idiot. How many snickers and goofy looks do you get when you wear plastic boots in the climbing gym?

 

So conversation over bigdrink.gif sparked this discussion:

 

What is/are the stupidest thing(s) you have done or better yet did regardless of the fact you looked stupid doing it regardless of whether or not it worked to attempt to ‘train’ or ‘practice’ for alpine climbing. A few I will admit to:

 

- in college one my roommates and I would never turn on the heat more to protect the beer money fund but we told each other and house guests it was alpine training. Those decrepit shacks would get so cold you had to put your belay jacket any time you weren’t in bed… I think the refrigerator wouldn’t turn on for all of Nov and Dec and frost would often form on the inside of the windows. The only time we would turn on the heat was when girls came over as their was no way anybody (boy or girl) was getting naked at those temps smileysex5.gif

 

- also back in college more for laughs (and we did) we convinced a recent sport climber turned alpinist that he should practice tying bowlines and figure 8s behind his back with mitts on in the shower (ice cold of course) in the dark. He fell for it once. yellaf.gif

 

- Running or trying to run with a backpack filled with weight on. Though this was a great way to trash the backpack and my joints I found that I could get the same level of work out trail running hills. Never again.

 

- For a brief while I also tried running while pushing a baby stroller with weight in it. I bought at a garage sale blush.gifblush.gif STUPID! blush.gifblush.gif

 

- Though it honestly has helped my climbing I can’t help but laugh at myself or anyone that makes it a point to go drytooling at rocky butte on a weekly basis… the beer bottles, the bum camps, the crack whores turning tricks, the risk of car break in, the trash, mud, slugs, and poison ivy… all usually in the rain. pitty.gif

 

Alright... let's hear 'em... campus board in a meat locker? climbed in a verve g string to save weight? wazzup.gif

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I find that clipping a nut tool to my harness while TRing at the gym enhances my alpine skills.

 

And I never turn the heat on at home when I'm alone because it builds CHARACTER!

 

I would pay money to see you pushing a baby stroller on a trail run. Not sure how much, but it's got to be worth something.

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In Corvallis ice storm 2 winters ago, got drunk when class was canceled, went for a "training run" in the ice (with shorts over polypro of course) and passed out in an ice covered bush behind winco 300 yards from my house. At 7 in the evening. Passerby woke me up, and I guess I was pretty friggan cold and disoriented. Didn't remember any of it, but apparently I told my roommates, who were still up around 8pm when I made it back soaking and covered in leaves. yoda.gif

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When I was little and got my first "real" rain jacket I'd go out and sit on the picnic table in the pouring rain for hours and boil water with my also-new msr whisperlite. I mean I'd just boil water, pour it out, then boil some more. I was so psyched when it was snowing and I could boil snow. I had a strange childhood but I am a f'ing wizard with the whisperlite stove. Still use that stove all the time.

 

ripped off a door frame at work hanging on it. difficult to explain to maintenance.

 

got busted again climbing the outside of my work building.

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oh shit, I forgot about my stint in Minnesota. I tried to run stairs in the college stadium in February. Just about killed myself and the cushioning in my running shoes cracked from the cold. This was after putting some bolts in the shoe soles to stay upright on the ice.

 

Skied in Minneapolis traffic periodically. Not advised.

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I used to bike year round in Minnesota. It built CHARACTER!!!

 

Though I took a pretty good spill over my handlebars one January evening on Hennepin Avenue. The worst part was I was totally sober.

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in 6th grade, after reading the complete Tom Brown survival guide book series, i ventured out into the woods armed only with a pocket knife. the adventure involved killing and eating 4 inch trout minnows, building a lean-to hut, and spending the afternoon unsuccessfully trying to make a fire by rubbing sticks together. i didn't sleep a wink, as it was too cold at night in the lean-to, but some how we survived, thanks to Tom Brown.

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In Corvallis ice storm 2 winters ago, got drunk when class was canceled, went for a "training run" in the ice (with shorts over polypro of course) and passed out in an ice covered bush behind winco 300 yards from my house. At 7 in the evening. Passerby woke me up, and I guess I was pretty friggan cold and disoriented. Didn't remember any of it, but apparently I told my roommates, who were still up around 8pm when I made it back soaking and covered in leaves. yoda.gif
And that explains, perfectly, your avatar- "sweatinoutliquor"

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There was a Japanese climber known as the Japanese Caribou who would spend days in a meat locker with no light and practice putting on all gear, fixing skis/bindings, cooking and taking apart and putting back together stove, and doing daily chores in preparation for a winter solo ascent of Denali.

 

The most I've done is bring a pack into 24-hour fitness 4 times a week and load them up with a down jacket and two 35 lb. weights and get on the stairmaster for an hour to train for Denali. I did get weird looks, but plenty of girls came up to ask what I was doing too! The staff said it was o.k. as long as I didn't steal their equipment. Never thought I looked like a crook!

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i do 2000 ft/day of stairclimbing at the gym w/ a big stupid red backpack filled w/ 40 some odd lbs of water - it looks goofy but i'm usually so stoned and deep in a jam session w/ the usual mix of floyd/dead/phish/jimmy/etc that i could care less

 

i try to run 3 miles a day on a treadmill w/ the pack too, but at a low speed in a kinda goofy airborne-shuffle which jostles the pack as little as possible and therefore spares my back and joints.

 

i get the occasional wierd look, though this could be more b/c i sweat like a whore in church - when the occasional pogue summons the temerity to question my training objective, i spray away about my upcoming mox-assault 'till they get that vacant look in their faces like a dog that's been shown a card-trick - then i tell 'em i'm doing everest next year, without oxygen, and they perk right back up

 

also fun at the gym, though i've been threatened w/ life-time banniation for it, is to climb the huge i-beams holding up the 3 story ceiling - the perfect lie-back, 5.0 shit, you can run laps up it for hours, just building strength - inevitably some soccer mom gets super upset that i might fall and get my dirty heathen blood on her pristine nikes which so exquistely match her hair-bands and she bitches to the manager, who she spends more time talking to at the gym then actually working out, and out come the goons w/ the heavy-hands...someday they'll get theirs though!!!

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John - who was the person you make where Ice mits in the shower? Was it my boyfriend?

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51861.jpg

 

Sorry for the foto qual, its a 13 year old scan...That freakin pack was heavy and the kid has lead in him....This was a multifaceted training approach since as a parent you are constantly training your patience too....

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Crossfit has worked pretty well for me. Been doing it a couple of months in local garage gym, but you can do it about anywhere with a few weights and pullup bar/finger board. Seems to have helped me. It's a good addition to long days out climbing, which is the real key. www.crossfit.com

Edited by sill

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Buildering at much risk to self and criminal record.

 

Climbing laps on underside of concrete steps.

 

Tequila Chimney at UW Rock. bigdrink.gifhahaha.gif

 

Screwing jibs made of wood onto your exposed basement rafters. rockband.gif

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I only had time for a day hike so I went to Mystic Lake as fast as I could carrying 60+ lbs... Wonderlanders looked at me like I was a friggin' idiot.

 

Plus I work at a golf course (country club no less!) and am constantly hanging/buildering on the pro shop. That gets me some weird looks!

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watching Hogan's hero's re runs to train my German accent

to speak with German speaking climbers in the Western

Alps.Memorizing quotes from the Eiger Sanction is good

also.

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Sorta on-topic... i never use tape or chalk when I climb, because i wont have that stuff when it really matters in the alpine. I was talking with MisterE about building a "Cascades-approach" simulator. Some kind of stairmaster with stairs that would randomly crumble every now and then. This machine would also have a few other suprise features such as:

1. randomly spray you with cold water and wind

2. Release swarms of mosquitos, flies, and yellowjackets

3. have a carwash-style revolving set of branches at waist and head level that would always be slapping you.

 

 

the deluxe model would allow you to put it your own fresh-cut branches to simulate the flora of upcoming approaches.

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Sorta on-topic... i never use tape or chalk when I climb, because i wont have that stuff when it really matters in the alpine. I was talking with MisterE about building a "Cascades-approach" simulator. Some kind of stairmaster with stairs that would randomly crumble every now and then. This machine would also have a few other suprise features such as:

1. randomly spray you with cold water and wind

2. Release swarms of mosquitos, flies, and yellowjackets

3. have a carwash-style revolving set of branches at waist and head level that would always be slapping you.

 

 

the deluxe model would allow you to put it your own fresh-cut branches to simulate the flora of upcoming approaches.

 

yelrotflmao.gif Brilliant. Dont forget the poison ivy and the fat guy in the trail you gots to try and pass...

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i do 2000 ft/day of stairclimbing at the gym w/ a big stupid red backpack filled w/ 40 some odd lbs of water - it looks goofy but i'm usually so stoned and deep in a jam session w/ the usual mix of floyd/dead/phish/jimmy/etc that i could care less

 

That's the most extreme form of training I've heard. Imagine, trying to stay amped up to that. I'd end up putting down the pack, and eating a bag of peanut M&Ms.

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