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Most Popular Entries
RMI Guide Dave Hahn summits Mt. Everest for a Record Thirteenth Time. On May 20th, 2011, Dave Hahn, Linden Mallory and their Sherpa team stood on the summit of Mt. Everest on a clear and beautiful day. Congratulations!
The team has safely returned to Everest Base Camp.
Posted by: | February 28, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training
We received a few questions recently about the Fit To Climb Program. Below are some answers to help keep you pointed in the right direction. Thanks for all of the good feedback, it’s great to hear from you!
First, find a set of stairs. They can be outdoors, indoors, at a stadium or even a stairmaster or eliptical trainer at the gym. Warm up with steady walking for 10 - 15 minutes. Then make repeated high intensity efforts - about 2 minutes is a good length of time (this may mean two or more flights/sets if your stairs are short). In between efforts, rest for 2 - 3 minutes until you can breathe comfortably before starting again. If you are new to interval training, start with 3 or 4 efforts. Don’t worry about your performance level today as you’ll see gains as the weeks progress. The 40 minutes is an average time frame, the amount of time it will actually take you depends on the number of efforts you put in. Be sure to allow 10 minutes to cool down at an easy pace.
Turkish Get Up (from the Rainier Dozen)
Steve Cotter offers a great instructional video on the Turkish Get Up using a variation I find very helpful for climbers in building strength for the big steps often found on climbs. Using a kettle ball or additional weight, as demonstrated in the video, is optional depending on how challenging this exercise is for you. See the video below.
The Timed Run (or walk) is a benchmark that allow you to see progress over the sixteen weeks. When not setting benchmarks, it’s easy to ‘feel’ fitter, or even less fit, at times. The Timed Run is a timed effort over a short distance that allows you to see tangible gains. You can choose your actual distance, I suggest about 1 mile, four circuits of an athletic field or the perimeter of a city park - but it can be any moderate distance that you choose and can follow again over the coming weeks. The Timed Run also acts as an improvement target, providing focus for this workout.
In Fit To Climb we’ll do the test every four weeks to act as a measurement of overall fitness as well as specific core muscle endurance and agility. The repeated test is designed to show progress and these sessions should also be fun. Be sure to record your results from this week’s test and we can compare them to the results of the next test. As with all training, there should be an emphasis on safety and self care. Push your limits but don’t place undue stress or strain on your body. Rather than go all out, try to nudge your results forward in a controlled and sensible way, much like a successful mountain climb.
John Colver is a longtime climber, former mountain guide, and certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. Colver introduced outdoor fitness classes to athletic clubs throughout the greater Puget Sound region before creating his adventX brand. Currently, adventX leads training programs in Seattle and Colver presents clinics on outdoor fitness at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, the American Lung Association, and REI. Colver lives in Seattle, and is working on his second book, Fit to Climb - a 16 week Mount Rainier Fitness Program.
Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts with John and other readers on the RMI Blog!
You can read the past Weekly Mountaineering Training Series on the RMI Blog.
Posted by: | November 05, 2012
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training
Mountain Climbing has a high requirement for energy. Quality nutrition is a key component of training success. In this conversation with Registered Dietician Sally Hara of Kirkland, Washington, I had a chance to ask some of the questions which often come up in training for mountaineering.
John Colver: How much protein do I need?
Sally Hara: Most athletes require 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (1 kilogram is equivalent to 2.2 pounds). Ultra-endurance athletes may require up to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is typically not difficult for an athlete to get if he or she is eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet and is responding appropriately to hunger cues. An ounce of meat, fish, poultry, or cheese contains about 7 grams of protein. Other good sources of protein are 1 to 2 tablespoons of nut butter, one egg, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, and 1/2 cup cooked legumes. A slice of bread, 1/3 cup of pasta or rice, or 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal can contain about 3 grams of protein each - check the nutritional label to be sure.
JC: How much water should I drink?
SH: The general recommendation for daily fluid intake is about 64 to 80 ounces per day. This includes all fluids consumed, not just water. When you factor in endurance exercise, an athlete’s fluid needs will increase. Although specific needs may vary depending on duration and intensity of the exercise, the ambient temperature and humidity, altitude, and individual differences between athletes, the following are general recommendations appropriate for most athletes.
• 2 to 3 hours before exercise? Drink about 20 oz. water or sports drink
• During exercise? Drink 6 to 12 oz. every 15 - 20 minutes
• After exercise? At least 20 oz. after exercise, with continued regular hydration for the remainder of the day. Ideally, enough to replace water lost via sweat, urine, and respiration. Consume 24 oz. for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.
*Source: ADA. Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance, 2009
JC: How often should I eat during a normal day?
SH: To optimize metabolism and both physiological and psychological performance (including mood, focus, and efficiency), I recommend eating every three to four hours. Serious athletes sometimes need to eat at least every two hours because of their high metabolism and energy needs. Spreading food intake throughout the day helps ensure that your brain and body will have enough energy to function properly during the day. Eating at regular intervals helps prevent overeating at the end of the day caused by extreme hunger. It seems paradoxical, but eating frequently can actually help regulate body weight better than skipping meals and snacks. If a person is in tune with their natural hunger and fullness signals, the best advice is simply to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied. Unfortunately, people who have a history of dieting often are disconnected from these signals because they have a history of ignoring them. If you are truly hungry, eat high-quality, nutrient-dense food. Hunger is a signal that your body is asking for more energy. Just respond to hunger with the most nutrient-dense food available.
JC: How do I know when I’m getting the correct mix of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fat) to enable my best performance?
SH: This is one issue a sports dietician can help you determine. Most athletes think they need much more protein than they actually do, and many vastly underestimate their need for carbohydrates. While protein is necessary to build and repair muscles and other tissues, carbohydrate is the preferred fuel for exercise (even for strength training). Protein is building material, carbohydrates are fuel. The more you work out, the more fuel you need.
JC: Do I have to eat breakfast?
SH: For optimal health and performance, yes. When we wake up in the morning, our glycogen stores are significantly depleted, because that is our primary energy source when we sleep.
JC: What do you eat before a morning training session?
SH: Usually a light but balanced meal or snack is best; something that contains mostly carbohydrate and a little protein for longer workouts is ideal. The size of the meal depends on the duration and intensity of the workout. Yogurt with granola or fruit can work well. Including a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates provides both an immediate energy source (simple carbs) and one that is digested more slowly, giving you more energy over time (complex carbs). An example of a meal that serves this purpose could be oatmeal with soymilk and raisins.
JC: Should I eat before a workout? What can I eat and how soon before the workout?
SH: Yes. I recommend a snack with carbohydrates (fruit, granola bar, smoothie, etc.) within two hours prior to exercise. If you will be training for over ninety minutes, it is also good to include a protein source (peanut butter, yogurt, meat, soy products, etc.) to help stabilize your blood sugar for a longer period of time. How close to your workout you eat depends on you. Some people can eat a three-course meal five minutes before intense exercise, while others can barely tolerate a small yogurt two hours before the workout. This is very individual.
JC: What should I eat after a workout and how soon after?
SH: The most important requirements for recovery are carbohydrates, fluids, and electrolytes. The perfect recovery snack is chocolate milk - it offers all of this plus a little protein. There are other options, of course, but the focus should be on carbs and hydration. A small amount of protein may also be helpful for post-exercise recovery, but the bulk of your post-exercise meal should be made up of carbohydrates. Remember to eat something within one hour after exercise to get a jump on replenishing your glycogen stores.
JC: Should I take a multivitamin?
SH: In theory, we should be able to get all of our vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. Even if there is a slightly higher nutritional need in endurance athletes, the increased amount of food necessary to meet energy demands should contain the additional vitamins and minerals needed as well. That said, not everyone has a perfect diet, so a basic multivitamin may not be a bad idea. There is no need to overspend on specialized vitamins, however. For instance, those little packets with four to six vitamin pills in them are mostly a marketing ploy.
JC: I don’t eat fish - should I take fish oil supplements?
SH: Fish oil supplements are an excellent idea. The omega-3 fatty acids in these supplements have multiple documented benefits, including cholesterol balance, anti-inflammatory effects, and mood stabilization. A good substitute for vegetarians would be flaxseed oil.
JC: What type of beverage should go into my water bottle when I’m exercising - something with electrolytes?
SH: For anyone exercising over sixty minutes, I recommend a sports drink containing both electrolytes and carbohydrates. Since you should be fueling as you go, this is a convenient way to take in the recommended carbohydrates.
Alternatively, you could fill the bottle with an electrolyte-only drink and eat solid foods as an energy source. It really depends on the sport and whether or not you typically eat while training. Either way, fluids and electrolytes are both important to have in your sports bottle.
JC: How does alcohol affect my performance?
SH: It’s all about timing and moderation. Alcohol is a known diuretic and can lead to significant dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. If you have an occasional beer, rehydrate before turning in for the night and limit yourself to one to two drinks per day. Alcohol is a known toxin that can hinder liver functions, including the ability of the liver to produce blood sugar from glycogen (for fuel) during exercise.
JC: How much fiber do I need?
SH: The current recommendation is about 30 grams of fiber per day. Consuming whole grains most of the time and getting at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day will likely provide this amount of fiber easily.
JC: What if I don’t have much time to cook?
SH: This is a big problem in our society. Some strategies could include cooking once a week and freezing several meals that you can easily heat up later. One great tool for athletes is a slow cooker. You can chop meat, vegetables, and spices, put them in a slow cooker for eight hours, and you’ll have wonderful meals. Personally I enjoy curries, chilies, stews, soups, and even baked potatoes. It’s easy, safe (you can leave it on all day), inexpensive ($50 to $100), and nutrient dense, as the cooking method used does not leach vitamins or minerals, nor does it destroy nutrients with excessive heat.
JC: For vegetarians, are there specific things to know about eating for athletic performance?
SH: The basic needs for vegetarian athletes are the same as for other athletes. What differs is the source of some of the nutrients (especially protein, iron, B12 and calcium). A great resource for this is the book The Vegetarian’s Sports Nutrition Guide, by Lisa Dorfman, RD, CSSD.
Vegetarians should pay particular attention to getting enough protein, but it’s not that difficult to do. The main sources of protein for vegetarians are legumes (such as dried beans, peas, and lentils), soy products, and (for non-vegans) milk, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. The good thing about vegetarian protein sources is that most also contain carbohydrates, which are an athlete’s best friend.
Iron, one of the nutrients that all vegetarians must be aware of, is found abundantly in animal products but sparsely in plant products. Some good sources of iron for vegetarians include dried beans and dark green leafy vegetables. Iron absorption is increased by eating foods containing vitamin C together with iron-rich foods in the same meal.
JC: If I am a vegetarian, how can I get enough vitamin B12?
SH: Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can get B12 from dairy products and eggs. Vegans (who eat only plant products) need to supplement their diet with B12 either by including nutritional yeast, foods that have been fortified with it (like some soy milks), or by taking a B12 supplement. The recommended intake of B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms daily. Inadequate B12 can result in a condition called macrocytic anemia, in which you will be overly tired and have difficulty training and recovering from exercise.
JC: How do I know if I’m getting enough iron?
SH: Iron deficiencies are common in endurance athletes, especially runners. There is controversy over why this occurs. Iron plays a key role in transporting oxygen to the muscles. This increases the need for iron in endurance athletes. Athletes who overtrain will often develop iron-deficiency anemia despite consuming what should be adequate iron, because a body that is in a stressed state from overtraining makes the iron unavailable. If you have a history of iron deficiency (determined by simple blood tests your doctor can order), taking an iron supplement routinely is a good idea. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to examine your training and nutrition habits. Certainly, making sure to include iron-rich foods (especially red meat, which is very high in iron) is very important.
- John Colver
John Colver is a longtime climber, former mountain guide, and certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. Colver introduced outdoor fitness classes to athletic clubs throughout the greater Puget Sound region before creating his adventX brand. Currently, adventX leads training programs in Seattle and Colver presents clinics on outdoor fitness at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, the American Lung Association, and REI. Colver lives in Seattle.
Posted by: | January 03, 2012
Categories: *Guide News
RMI Founder Lou Whittaker was interviewed last month by the Magic Valley Newspaper in Twin Falls, ID. Lou took some time off from skiing in Sun Valley to sit down and talk about his lifetime of climbing. Check out the article: Famous Mountain Climber Lou Whittaker Talks about His Highest Climbs.
RMI is hosting several Prep for Rainier classes over the months of February, March, and April at local REI stores in the Puget Sound area. Join RMI’s experienced guides to discuss everything that is need to prepare for Mt. Rainier, including conditioning, trip planning, route choice, and equipment selection to climb Washington State’s highest point!
Come out to your local REI store to hear stories and answer your questions about Mt. Rainier!
|Thursday||4/11/2013||7:00pm||REI Seattle with Paul Maier||More info…|
The much celebrated 3G phone service is not so robust down here in the Rhododendron forest at 12,400 ft above sea level, so please pardon the slight lapse in trip coverage as we pass through these benighted zones. All is well with Bill, Sara, Dave and Lam Babu Sherpa. We moved easily up from Namche yesterday, enjoying very light traffic on the trails. We seem to be a few days ahead of most of the big Everest teams and we conveniently flew into Lukla during a brief weather-window that few trekking groups were able to take advantage of, so the end result is that we have this part of the gorgeous Khumbu Valley to ourselves. Conditions have mostly been cool and cloudy, although we’ve been granted grand views of Everest and Lhotse and Ama Dablam. The temps have been perfect for walking and we took advantage yesterday by cruising up the 1,700 ft Thyangboche Hill in one continuous push. A couple of cool and fizzy drinks out in front of the palatial Thyangboche Monastery and then we completed the day by descending a few hundred feet to Deboche. Last night was an easy one as we enjoyed a fine dinner in a comfy wood-stove heated dining room.
The McGahan clan showed each other how to beat the stuffing out of their climbing guide at Yahtzee and then we each turned in for the night… beginning to delight in the loft of our expedition sleeping bags. We’ll spend tonight here as well, letting our bodies catch up to the altitude and enjoying a last day (for the next eight weeks) among trees.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn
On The Map
Hello from Everest Base Camp,
I spoke with Dave and Melissa at Camp 3 and WOW did they sound great!
The climbing team left Camp 2 early this morning under perfect conditions. As they periodically checked in it sounded like they were truly enjoying the climb and taking pictures when possible. As you can imagine, under harsh weather there isn’t time to enjoy the mountain and the views.
Our super Sherpa team started a bit earlier and set up tents at Camp 3 then returned back to Camp 2 to spend the night. The equipment that had been brought up there weeks ago was all intact and the team was able to pull into a well provisioned home for the night. Last I heard Melissa was kicking Dave’s you know what in the stove boil off competition for dinner, Go Melissa Go!
As this climb is quickly coming to it’s conclusion, and a day like today that can be so pivotal in the future success I get so excited with this good luck. Not that these tough individuals wouldn’t meet the challenge of wind, cold and snow. I just like the way it is shaping up.
The weather forecast is still looking good with winds decreasing over the next few days. You have to love that!
The Sherpa team will get out of Camp 2 early tomorrow morning and the climbing team will try and have a seamless hand off of some gear to them from Camp 3, check out time should be around 6:00 am. Then the whole team should climb together up to high camp the South Col, getting there midday, that should allow enough time for rest and preparation for early departure toward the summit that night.
RMI Guide & Everest Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker
RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from Camp 3 on Mt. Everest.
On The Map
On Saturday, May 26th at 9:31 a.m. Nepali time the RMI 2012 Mt. Everest Expedition reached the summit!
RMI Guides Dave Hahn and Melissa Arnot led the team of climbers to the summit of Mt. Everest at 29,035’. This marks the 14th summit for Dave Hahn and the 4th for Melissa Arnot.
Congratulations to the team!!!
On The Map
This is Seth and the safari crew checking in from the Kikoti Camp at Tarangire National Park. This was our last full day of safari and it was a good one. We managed to see several big cats again including a leopard. That was the last one we needed to complete our finding of the ‘Big Five’. The Big Five includes: lions, elephants, water buffalo, leopard and the rhino. The game viewing has been outstanding for us. Tomorrow we are heading back to town as several folks have an afternoon flight from Arusha heading home.
Our trip has been awesome and we will enjoy this last day before we board planes tomorrow and head back to our friends and family.
RMI Guide Seth Waterfall
Our team enjoyed a rest day at Camp 2 (ABC) today. Their plan is to head for Camp 3 tomorrow.
This really is the start of the Mt. Everest summit push in my eyes. How the next two days go, can have real impact on the summit day.
It is so hard to try and maintain strength at these higher camps that you better hope the internal battery is charged, you will be drawing off of your reserves for sure. The team is focusing on eating and hydrating, keeping their bodies strong and ready. Four of our climbing Sherpa left Base Camp today and joined the climbers at ABC. Everyone is doing well and looking forward to the next few days.
RMI Guide Dave Hahn is one of the best mountain guides in the business. With many expeditions under his belt, he knows how to climb this mountain. The weather forecast still looks promising. Good luck to the team!
RMI Guide Dave Hahn checks in from ABC on a rest day.
On The Map
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