Entries By geoff schellens
June 7, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb June 4 - 7 reached the crater rim at 7AM PT today. RMI Guide Geoff Schellens reported a nice day with light winds. The team will enjoy the views from the summit for a bit before starting their descent. Once back at Camp Muir the teams will re-pack and continue down to Paradise.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb teams!
Congrats JImmy and team! Enjoy the day and the trip down.
Posted by: Jim Wiley on 6/7/2018 at 7:59 am
June 3, 2018
The Four Day Summit Climb led by Geoff Schellens and Jenny Konway turned this morning at 13,500’. The team made the call to turn around after experiencing high wind gusts on the upper mountain. They called in from about 12,300’ at 7:00 AM PT and reported good views and a steady descent.
May 28, 2018
RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Zeb Blais called down this morning at 7:30 am from the summit of Mt. Rainier. They reported 10 - 15 mph winds, cold conditions, and high team morale. Their plan is to spend about 30 minutes on the summit before beginning their descent back to Camp Muir.
Congratulations! Get down safely!!
Posted by: Chris Kopf on 6/1/2018 at 8:30 am
May 8, 2018
The Five Day Summit Climb Teams led by RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Mike King reached the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. The team reported clear skies with light winds. After enjoying some time in the crater the group will return to Camp Muir. They will spend the night at Camp Muir and descend to Paradise tomorrow.
Congratulations to today’s climbers!
The climb was amazing and the views were unlike any views I had ever seen. I owe a huge “Thank you” to our superhuman guides Geoff Schellens, Ben Markhart, and Hannah McGowan. These three were extremely knowledgeable, professional, encouraging, and super cool to hang with. RMI is very lucky to have them on their team. I will definitely use RMI in the future. Thank you all for this life changing experience!
Posted by: Brody Ford on 5/10/2018 at 10:28 pm
Ice season is almost upon us here in Bozeman, Montana with many other U.S. ice destinations soon to follow. I find it very difficult to train for ice climbing this time of year - you want to get comfortable on your tools again, but there isn’t any ice forming yet. These are a few of my favorite pre-season workouts that can get you stronger before you get to swing those picks into a column of ice.
First, I say any climbing is better than no climbing. The rock gym can be a great place to start building upper body strength, balance, and grip strength. I usually warm up by pulling on plastic for an hour or so, mostly easy to moderate routes with two or three that really push me. The goal is to get a little pumped but not so spent that I can’t do a workout after. I take 10-15 minutes to cool down, drink some water, get out of my climbing gear, and transition to the weights.
When I am training specifically for ice climbing I focus most of my efforts on forearms and triceps with some shoulder and bicep work to stay balanced. In my opinion, the best exercises mimic the actual motions done in ice climbing. So, my first go-to ice climbing workout is simply to grab a light dumbbell, 6-12lbs, and hold it like you would an ice tool. If you can watch yourself in the mirror it can help to make sure you maintain good form. Loosely hold the weight in one hand and cock it back over your shoulder, keep your wrist, elbow, and shoulder all in line, and slowly swing the weight like you would an ice tool. Finish with the wrist flick so the weight is just in front of your body, I like to keep my other hand touching my elbow, which helps to encourage good form.
Dead hangs are another great exercise you can do almost anywhere. If you can use your tools that’s the best; I put the picks of both ice tools over a pull-up bar, grab both tools, and hang with elbows slightly bent for 10 seconds. If you are doing it correctly your shoulders should be engaged. I try to draw my shoulder blades towards each other. Do this for 10 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 10 rounds; that is one set for me, and I try to do 3 sets per workout. Don’t push yourself and tweak a shoulder though, or all this training is for nothing. Start with what makes sense for you and then slowly add repetitions, sets, or increase the time of each dead hang. I often integrate sets into my whole workout so I don’t get too bored.
Next: pull-ups. Find out what your max is and then go for 50-80% of that for three sets. If 10 pull-ups is your threshold, do three sets of 5-8. Try to increase this number over time. Again I mix these into the whole workout so that I have some time to recover.
There are a number of great exercises for grip strength and forearms; I constantly switch it up. The standing bar – rope - weight workout is a great one. With a small bar, stick, or dowel, tie a 5-foot rope to the center and a weight on the other end of the rope. With your arms straight out in front of you slowly twist the bar in your hands to wrap the rope up and lift the weight then reverse the motion to lower it back to the ground. Maintain good form and keep your arms parallel to the ground.
Another forearm workout that I really like is to grab two dumbbells of moderate weight, 5-15 lbs, and hold one in each hand. Slowly I let the weights roll down my palm and fingers until they are close to falling out of my hands and then bring them back up. The first few will leave you asking, “what is the point of this?” by rep 20 you will be screaming for mercy.
The plate pinch is both a forearm and grip exercise. Grab two plates, 2.5, 5, or 10lbs, and position them together so the smooth sides face out. Simply pinch them together with one hand and let them hang by your side. You are going for time here, see how long you can hold it first and then aim for three sets in each hand. Gradually add more and more time over a few weeks. Finally, another fantastic grip strength workout is a spring or rubber doughnut trainer. I keep one in my car and try to use it at every red light.
These are just a few of the upper body workouts that I use when I am patiently, or not so patiently, waiting for temperatures to drop and ice to start forming. I hope you enjoy these and I look forward to seeing you all out on the ice soon.
Geoff Schellens is a certified AMGA Rock Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and an avid ice climber. He lives in Bozeman, MT, and will be leading an expedition to Denali’s Upper West Rib this spring.
Comments? Questions? Share your thoughts here on the RMI Blog!
Thanks for this. Definitely want to start implementing some of the techniques you mentioned. Applicable for more than ice-climbing!
Posted by: Chelsea on 4/1/2018 at 3:50 pm
I will be 66 this May. I am active mountain biking regularly am not overweight but live in New Jersey.
I’m a sea level baby. A few years ago about 5 or 6 my brother-in-law who has summered Rainier dozens of times even Denali without oxygen took me up the mountain. Within sight of Muir after sleeping around 9000 feet the next morning carrying my heavy pack I just ran out of gas.
I want to Summit Rainier.
This year I am very busy with trips but want to do it in 2019.
How should I approach this.
I want to use RMI.
Posted by: Norm Price on 1/8/2018 at 6:05 am
September 7, 2017
Posted by: Geoff Schellens
The Mt. Shuksan Seminar, led by RMI Guide Geoff Schellens, reached the summit today. The wildfire smoke obstructed some of the views but the team had a great time on a spectacular route! Some photos from the team above.
August 30, 2017
The Four Day Summit Climb August 27 - 30 led by RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Mike King were unable to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier today. The teams turned around at 12,700’ due to high winds. The teams have returned safely to Camp Muir. They plan to start their descent to Paradise around 9:30 am PT.
Remember…. it is the trip that is most important…not the destination…per “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values” by Robert M. Pirsig”...from a ‘60s mama…...love and prayers for all…come home safely.
Posted by: Sharen Hart on 8/30/2017 at 7:37 pm
Glad you’re all safe. Even though you weren’t able to reach the summit, I hope the journey was an adventure!
Posted by: Elise Resnick on 8/30/2017 at 5:16 pm
August 15, 2017
The Four Day Summit Climb August 12 - 15 led by RMI Guide Geoff Schellens turned around today at 13,300’ due to difficult terrain. The team reported a nice day with calm winds. The team will return to Camp Muir and continue their descent to Paradise later today.
August 11, 2017
RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and Mike King lead their teams to the summit of Mt. Rainier this morning. After enjoying some time in the crater they started their descent to Camp Muir. They will take a short rest and then continue down to Paradise.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climbers!
August 6, 2017
The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guides Geoff Schellens and JM Gorum were walking onto Columbia Crest, the very top of Mt. Rainier at 6:10am this morning. The team reported warm temperatures, calm winds, and clear skies above the smoke layer that is currently covering the lower elevations of Western Washington.
Congratulations to today’s team!
Congratulations team!! Proud of you….
Posted by: Rajan on 8/6/2017 at 8:50 am
Awesome job Ben! Oli and I love you!!
Posted by: Rachel on 8/6/2017 at 7:54 am