Entries By lindsay mann

Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team - Murphy’s Law

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 7,300'

June 20, 2014 - 7:14 am PT

Three O Clock PM Talkeetna time.  The kids in orange vests that load and unload the planes we were to fly in asked if it was okay to unload the 2,700 pounds of gear weighing down the aircrafts still grounded by ugly mountain weather near Mt. McKinley.  Sure we all said.  By this time the thought of messing around with gear just to pass the time seemed like a safe plan. The flying conditions were reported to be bad all day so the perceived notion that we would fly at all was dwindling.  The forecast for the next few days looked worse so I knew unloading those planes was the best move we could have made.  Not more than 20 minutes after our climbing outfits came off and we were literally heading into town for a beer, base camp called, said conditions looked good and if anyone was ready, load ‘em up ASAP and get them in!  So, off with the jeans and tennies, on with boots and a mild-hurried panic and onto the plane.  Forty-five minutes later we were on the glacier!  Yeeee haaaa.

Everyone is buzzing with good energy and the days to come. Wish us luck on our move to Camp One. 

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

A view from the flight into Mt. McKinley's Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map

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Mt. McKinley: Knoff & Team Ready for the Kahiltna Glacier!

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 348'

June 19, 2014 - 11:24 am PT

The team spent yesterday packing, chatting and organizing food. Today we arrived at the hangar and we’re told to stand by…a few hours later we are still standing by but are loading are bags onto planes and got the go ahead to change into climbing clothes. Hopefully, we will be loading the planes shortly and our next correspondence will be sent from the Kahiltna Glacier!

RMI Guide Adam Knoff

Team Knoff in Talkeetna ready to fly onto Mt. McKinley. Photo: Amy Jake

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Mt. McKinley: Adam Knoff & Team Arive in Talkeetna

Posted by: Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand | June 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley

June 18, 2014 - 3:00pm PT

RMI Guides Adam Knoff, Lindsay Mann, Andy Hildebrand and Team have arrived in Talkeetna, AK to start their 2014 Mt. McKinley Expedition. Everything is going as planned for the team. They have completed their equipment check, met with the National Park Service and with good luck plan to fly onto the Kahiltna Glacier tomorrow.

Follow along on the RMI Expeditions Blog for updates on the team!

Adam Knoff & Team Arrive in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff Adam Knoff & Team Check gear in Talkeetna, AK. Photo: Adam Knoff

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Mt. Rainier: June 14th SUMMIT!

Posted by: Lindsay Mann, Josh Maggard, Zach Lovell, Ben Liken, Katrina Bloemsma, JJ Justman | June 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb Teams Led by JJ Justman and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning.  The teams reported great climbing conditions with winds of about 5 - 15 mph as they climbed above the clouds.  The teams will spend some time on the summit before starting their descent back to Camp Muir.

Congratulations to Today’s Teams!

The June 14th Summit Climb Team at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier.  Photo: JJ Justman

Mt. Rainier: Four & Five Day Summit Climbs Reach the Summit!

Posted by: Lindsay Mann, JJ Justman | June 10, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide JJ Justman along with the Five Day Summit Climb team led by Lindsay Mann both reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams spent some time on top and began their descent around 7:30 am.  Both teams will return to Camp Muir to re-pack and then will continue down to Paradise.  We look forward to seeing the groups at Rainier BaseCamp later today.

Congratualtions to today’s Summit Climb teams!

The Four Day Summit Climb June 7 - 10, 2014 en route to Camp Muir on June 9th.  Photo: JJ Justman

Mountaineering Training | Strength Training Beyond The Gym

Posted by: Lindsay Mann | November 04, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

When most people think about strength workouts, they think about joining a gym and lifting weights to build muscle mass. I grew up as an alpine ski racer and continue to stay involved in the sport now as a ski coach. If you have watched an alpine ski race, in person or on TV, you know that ski racing is all about leg strength. Although mountaineers don’t need to be hitting the weight room to the same extent as a ski racer, strength is a key component to climbing. 

Traveling around the world as an athlete, coach, and guide, I do not always have access to a weight room. During the season I still need to do exercises to maintain strength. I make use of local parks or playgrounds (where the entry fee is free) or even my own living room.
Below are a couple of key exercises that you can do either in a gym or in the comfort of your own home. Remember, whenever doing strength workouts, it is important to get a proper warm-up and cool-down and listen to your body in order to stay injury-free and get the most from the workout.
Warm-Up: This involves 15 - 20 minutes of running or biking to get your muscles warmed up. This is imperative since diving into strength training cold is a great way to hurt yourself. This time can be spent on a stationary bicycle, a couple laps around the neighborhood on a road bike or mountain bike, a few laps around the track or soccer field, or a jog around the neighborhood. 
Body Weight Squats: Start your workout with two legged squats, feet hip width apart, with no weight. As you up your training, adding weight is a viable option as long as your form and technique stay correct. Jugs of water, rocks, or chunks of firewood all make good weight additions.  To maintain form and avoid injury, make sure that your knees are stacked over your ankles. Start with doing three sets of 10 reps. I usually go down for a count of 2 - 3 seconds and up for the same count. 
One-Legged Squats: These are my personal favorite; still a leg strength building exercise, one-legged squats also add a balance component. In order to protect your knees during any squats, I recommend going no deeper than a 90-degree bend in the knee (doing these in front of a mirror when you first start can be beneficial).  Start out with the non-weight bearing leg parallel to the standing leg. As you master this, play around with the position of the leg in the air. It can be in front, out to the side, or back. Now not only are you working on leg strength but you are also working on balance. Work up to 3 reps of 10 on each leg. Depending on your baseline strength you may start with 2 reps of 5 on each leg and then slowly work up. 
Again as this gets easier for you, add weights in your hand or try these on grass or sand. All of this will change your balance and the difficulty. 
Wall-Sits: Simply sit against a wall with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle like you are sitting in an invisible chair with your back and butt against the wall. This is a real thigh burner. Start by holding this for 30 seconds to a minute and doing two or three sets, shaking your legs out in between. As you get better at this, increase the time you are holding to up to a few minutes. Another way to increase the difficulty is to hold an object straight in front of you, such as a ski boot or climbing boot. 
Lunges: With an emphasis on quad-strengthening exercises it is important to incorporate some hamstring-strengthening exercises as well. One suggestion is lunges. The key to these is that they are done slowly; you are building strength as you lower your body weight and raise it again. Make sure that your knees are lined up above your ankles and feet, and do not push your knee beyond your toes. I usually start with my hands on my hips doing 2 to 3 sets of 10 - 15 lunges on each side (20 - 30 total in a set), and alternate which leg is in front. Again, as this becomes easier for you, you can add free weights. 
Pull-Ups: These are nice because they can be done anywhere. Not only is it good arm strength exercise, but it also involves the core. Pull-ups can be done with a pull-up or chin-up bar in your house, or at the local playground on the monkey bars. Start out with 2 sets of five. If this is hard for you, have someone hold your knees to assist you after doing a few on your own. You will be amazed how much you will improve just by trying them on your own and then going through the motion with someone assisting you. 
Cool-Down: In order to aid recovery for the following days, do a proper cool-down. Spend another 15 minutes on a bike or finish with a light jog to get out some of the lactic acid. Don’t forget that stretching is also an important aspect of the cool-down process. 
Listen to your body with any workout.  All of the recommendations of sets are exactly that - recommendations; do what makes sense for you.  Depending on your starting point you may have to start with fewer and work up. That is okay; continue to work on strength exercises and you will see improvements. Set benchmarks and goals for yourself so that you can see the improvements!  Often times the process of seeing yourself improve is all the motivation you need!

Lindsay Mann is a senior guide at RMI Expeditions and a NCAA D1 Skiing Champion. She has climbed and guided around the world, from Peru to Alaska. Lindsay is leading a team of female climbers to scale Mt. Rainier on a special Four Day Summit Climb next summer, August 12 - 15, 2014.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!

RMI Guide Lindsay Mann leads a team up Mt. McKinley's Kahiltna Glacier (Brent Okita).

Mt. Rainier: September 6, 2013 Update

Posted by: Tyler Jones, Lindsay Mann | September 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount Rainier
Elevation: 10,080'

The Four Day Summit Climbs led by Lindsay Mann and Tyler Jones were unable to leave Camp Muir last night.  The team experienced heavy thunderstorms that brought much lightening and 6 inches of new snow to Camp Muir. The teams plan to leave Camp Muir shortly and will be back in Ashford in the early afternoon.

Congratulations to today’s teams!

9/6/13 - Summit teams at Camp Muir. Photo: Lindsay Mann

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

Mt. Rainier: August 16th Teams on the Summit!

Posted by: Billy Nugent, Lindsay Mann | August 16, 2013
Elevation: 14,410'

The Four Day Summit Climbs August 13 - 16, 2013 led by RMI Guides BIlly Nugent and Lindsay Mann reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning.  The teams delayed their start from Camp Muir due to high winds but were fortunate that the winds decreased enough to allow them to climb.

They began their descent from the crater rim shortly after 9 am PT.  The teams will return to Camp Muir for a short break before continuing down to Paradise.

The Expedition Skills Seminar - Kautz enjoyed of week of training on Mt. Rainier.  They spent their final night on the mountain last night.  This morning they broke camp and started down to Paradise. 

Congratulations to today’s summit climbers!  We look forward to seeing all teams at Ashford BaseCamp this afternoon.


Mountaineering Training | Focus on Footwork

Posted by: Lindsay Mann | August 05, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Footwork and the ability to “read the terrain” to find the best footing is an important element of being able to climb safely and efficiently. During our Mountaineering Day School, our guides focus their efforts on teaching the “rest step”. The rest step is an important efficiency technique where climbers take small steps, pausing between steps with their weight on their back leg. This is a technique that enables climbers to get a “rest” with each step since their bodyweight is resting on their skeletal system instead of their muscles, effectively giving the legs a quick break. 

An important aspect to the rest step is paying attention to your footwork and deciding on your foot placement: finding the right place to set your foot so that you have full control while still benefiting from the small, efficient movements of the rest step. We commonly ask people to “climb with their eyes” by scanning the terrain and other climbers foot placements ahead to spot the best places to set their feet. Instead of getting fixated on only the next step, it is important to anticipate future terrain and foot placement. Thinking a few steps ahead allows you to see all of your options in front of you.

This is something that can be practiced before coming to climb Mt. Rainier or taking part in any of our climbs and expeditions. When going out on your training hikes, whether long or short, take the time to focus on your footwork. Ask yourself, “How big are my steps? Can I take a smaller step? Is there a better flat place for me to put my foot?” Constantly challenge yourself to find the easiest and most efficient foot placement with each step. Combining your focus on footwork with improvements to your balance and body awareness will give you an added measure of comfort, stability, and efficiency in the mountains, especially when you begin to tire. Remember that flexibility is an important part of footwork since you need to be comfortable in your foot placements even when the terrain is not perfectly flat or level. 

The more comfortable you can become with foot placement, reading terrain and climbing in balance, the less energy you will exert on longer hikes and climbs. Often times we get fixated on the immediate step in front of us. Instead, look ahead and challenge yourself to take small quick steps. By being aware of these footwork techniques on your training hikes will enable you to dance your way up the mountain on your climb!
Lindsay Mann is a Senior Guide at RMI Expeditions and a NCAA D1 Skiing Champion. She has climbed and guided around the world, from Peru to Alaska. Read about her recent sailing and ski mountaineering trip to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on the here.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!

RMI Climber Frank M. focuses on his footwork, Mt. McKinley, Alaska. Photo: Kel Rossiter.

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