Entries By eric frank

Mountaineering Training | 3 Training Principles From RMI Guide Eric Frank

Posted by: Eric Frank | October 14, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Three Core Training Principles
By RMI Guide Eric Frank

Designing a training program to prepare for mountaineering is one of the most important decisions aspiring climbers face. Success or failure is often determined by the type and quality of the training done months before the crampon straps are tightened.

By planning particular elements of the training program in order, fitness can be maximized while the chance of burning out is minimized. Each level of activity leads to the next. It is crucial to start training at least six months in advance of the climb to have enough time to work through a full cycle.  While the details will vary between climbers, here are a few core principles to consider:

• First, commit one or two Saturdays each month for long training sessions. This can be difficult in our busy, modern world, but it is important to find the time to go on a five to six hour hike or bike ride. Days in the mountains are rarely less then eight hours, and being accustomed to consistent low-grade output is important. This serves to build base fitness.

• Next, introduce mountaineering specific activities by focusing on the core and legs. Carrying a backpack uphill for hours can be extremely taxing on these muscle groups. Running, core workout and good ol’ hiking with a pack will build them up to the appropriate level. Remember to carry a pack that is similar to the pack weight on the climb. Filling the pack with water is a nice trick. Carry the weight uphill during training, then dump it out before heading downhill to save the knees.

• Finally, add high intensity, full body workouts to the exercise program. On most routes in the mountains, there are places where increased output is required. Whether it is scrambling up a rock step on the Disappointment Cleaver on Mt. Rainier, ascending a fixed line on the West Buttress of Denali, or just shoveling snow to make a tent platform, physical strength is crucial. These activities will round out the strength in your shoulders and lower back.  A good introductory workout involves body weight calisthenics in a rotation – pushups, crunches, squats, dips, pull-ups and jump rope. Try to do three full cycles with a consistent number of repetitions. The idea is maintain an elevated heart rate and stress different muscle groups in succession. The best part is that is doesn’t require any specialized equipment or facilities.

Finally remember that the best training imitates the route to be climbed. Consider the specific mountain and route to be attempted, research it’s exact difficulties, then tailor a plan which will lead to success.

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Eric Frank is a senior guide at RMI Expeditions. He has climbed and guided all over the world, including the Alaska Range and the Himalaya; read about his recent to trip to Shishapangma on the Eddie Bauer Blog. Eric will be leading an RMI Expedition on Mt. McKinley’s Upper West Rib next spring.

RMI Guide Jake Beren leaves the last break before the summit of Mt. Rainier earlier this summer. Photo: Eric Frank.

Mt. Rainier: August 28th Update

Posted by: Eric Frank, Solveig Waterfall | August 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,400'

The Four Day Summit Climb Teams, August 25 - 28, were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning due to high winds and precipitation.  RMI Guide Eric Frank reported that the teams left Camp Muir before 2 am on their summit attempt but were forced to turn around at 10,400’ because of heavy rain and wind.  Visibility at Camp Muir was very low and wind continued with gusts estimated at 40 mph. The teams are expected to start their descent from Camp Muir around 8:30 am PT.

We look forward to seeing the groups at Rainier BaseCamp later this morning.

Updated 4:11pm PST

The Four Day Summit Climbs led by JJ Justman and Billy Nugent have reached Camp Muir.  The guides are making some hot coffee for the crew while they settle in and prepare for their summit attempt tonight.  Check out the video JJ sent on their ascent to Camp Muir today!

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Total Bummer Steve and Connor! Saw yesterday’s team did not make it either. Was hoping you would. Guess you will just have to climb again! Take care. Be safe. ~Audrey

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Posted by: Audrey on 8/28/2013 at 11:30 am

Steve and Connor,
I am so sorry that you didn’t make it to the top.  Be
safe on the way down.  See you when you get home.
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Posted by: Darlene Fox on 8/28/2013 at 10:37 am


Mt. Rainier: August 21, 2013 Summit!

Posted by: Elias de Andres Martos, Lindsay Mann, Eric Frank | August 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Led By Elias de Andres Martos and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The teams had warm, clear and calm conditions on the climb.  They are currently descending and stopped at 12,700’ feet to do some work on the fixed lines before making their way back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

Looking over St. Elmo's Pass on the Emmons Seminar. Photo: Eric Frank View from the Emmons Seminar Camp. Photo: Eric Frank
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Woohoo!!!!! Congratulations!

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Posted by: Starr on 8/22/2013 at 6:14 am

Great Going.  Glad for the weather

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Posted by: Diane on 8/21/2013 at 9:56 am


Mt.Rainier: August 15th High Winds Keep Group from Summit

Posted by: Paul Edgren, Eric Frank | August 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,080'

The Four Day Summit Climbs August 12 - 15, 2013 led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Paul Edgren were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  Strong winds and precipitation prevented the teams from climbing.  The teams checked in from Camp Muir shortly after 7 am where they were safe and warm in the Muir hut.  The teams will descend from Camp Muir to Paradise this morning.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz led by RMI Guide Elias de Andres Martos was unable to summit this morning also.  They will spend today training on the mountain.  Tomorrow they will descend to Paradise and complete their program.

We look forward to seeing them at Rainier BaseCamp.


Mt. Rainier: July 22nd Summit!

Posted by: Eric Frank, Lindsay Mann | July 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Eric Frank and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier around 6:30 a.m.  The teams spent about an hour on top enjoying what Eric describes as the “best morning all summer:” sunny and warm with light winds.  The teams will make their descent back to Camp Muir and will return to Ashford this afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

An RMI Team cresting the summit of Mt. Rainier.  Photo: RMI Collection
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Congratulations to Eric, Lindsey, and the entire team.  Great job enjoying the beautiful mountain!

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Posted by: Eric Yollick on 7/23/2013 at 2:33 am

Good job getting to the top!

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Posted by: Tyler Kirkness on 7/22/2013 at 5:15 pm


North Cascades: Forbidden Peak Teams Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Eric Frank | July 14, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *North Cascades

Both RMI Forbidden Peak teams reached the summit yesterday!  After a leisurely breakfast, they hiked out to the trailhead, sorted gear and bid farewell.  A glorious four-day program in the North Cascades!

RMI Guides Jake Beren and Eric Frank

Rappel on West Ridge - Forbidden Peak. Photo: RMI Collection

North Cascades: Jake Beren Checks in from Boston Basin

Posted by: Jake Beren, Eric Frank | July 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *North Cascades
Elevation: 6,200'

Hello everybody. This is Jake calling in from Boston Basin up in the North Cascades checking in after a great day of mountain adventure. Eric Frank wanted to let everybody know that they are working well on Torment-Forbidden Traverse and they were on the top of Torment, I think around noon today. Nice work fellas. Thomas Greene and I are out with James, James and Steve up out on Sharkfin Tower today and heading for the West Ridge tomorrow. So cross your fingers for good weather and we will be checking in tomorrow afternoon. That’s it from the Basin.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Boston Basin in the North Cascades. Photo: RMI Collection


Jake Beren calls in from the Boston Basin Camp.


Mt. Rainier: July 8th Update

Posted by: Eric Frank, Solveig Waterfall | July 08, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four and Five Day Mt. Rainier Summit Climbs led by Eric Frank and Solveig Waterfall, respectively, reached the summit this morning. Eric reported beautiful weather, no wind and the cloud deck below Paradise.  The teams ventured to Columbia Crest and enjoyed the summit views before they began their descent at 8 a.m.

RMI Guides Eric Frank and Solveig Waterfall

Evening clouds from Camp Muir, July 7th, 2013. Photo: Solveig Waterfall July 8th, 2013 - Rest break on Mt. Rainier's upper slopes overlooking Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.
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Way to go Herb!! We are so proud of you. Love, mom

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Posted by: Jean Yu on 7/8/2013 at 11:13 am

Congrats to the team and especially to Ed! I am so proud of you.

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Posted by: Gayle hutton on 7/8/2013 at 10:39 am


Mt. Rainier: July 5th Update - Summit!

Posted by: Jake Beren, Eric Frank, Seth Waterfall | July 05, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

Today’s Four Day Summit Climbs led by Jake Beren and Eric Frank reached the Mt. Rainier summit this morning.  The teams are currently descending to Camp Muir and will be in Ashford later this afternoon. The Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz led by Seth Waterfall is descending to Paradise after their successful summit yesterday.  His team took a photo before they left their camp this morning (below).

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!

A beautiful day on Mt. Rainier with the Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz team. Photo: Seth Waterfall
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Yeah Josh! KILLIN IT! There are some TALL people in your climbing group. Way to represent the midgets.

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Posted by: Catalina Troche on 7/5/2013 at 9:43 pm


Mt. Rainier: June 30th Update - Summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom, Eric Frank | June 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by Casey Grom and the Five Day Muir Climb led by Eric Frank reached the top of Mt. Rainier this morning!  Casey radioed at 7:42 a.m. from Columbia Crest, the highest point on Mt. Rainier, and reported a very nice day.  Both teams began their descent at 8:15 a.m.

Congratulations to a job well done by our guides and climbers!

June 30, 2013 - View of Mt. Rainier from Paradise.
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Great job dad!  I can’t wait to hear all about your adventure.

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Posted by: Craig on 7/1/2013 at 1:58 am

Spectacular, Kevin and Terry!  So happy for you:-).

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Posted by: Jahn Hart on 6/30/2013 at 11:15 am


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