Most Popular Entries

Mountaineering Training | The Home Stretch

Posted by: | December 24, 2012
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

The Home Stretch is exactly what it sounds like: the last bit of your workout, the brief but essential stretching routine that will keep your muscles limber and strong. The routine starts at your toes and stretches to the top of your head and as far as your fingertips can reach.

UPPER CALF STRETCH
Starting position: Begin this stretch in the Downward Dog yoga posture: hands and feet flat on the ground, torso arched with rear up in the air, legs straight. If the Downward Dog position is uncomfortable, perform this stretch by leaning forward against a wall or another source of support, such as a tree or building, with arms straight and hands flat against the surface with legs straight and heels on the ground.
Movement: Place your left ankle above and behind the right ankle, just off the ground, so that you can feel an isolated stretch in your right calf. Keep your knee straight so as to isolate the gastrocnemius —one of two major muscles that comprise the calf. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

LOWER CALVES AND ANKLES
Starting position: Same as the Upper Calf Stretch — Downward Dog or the variation leaning against a wall.
Movement: Move your left ankle above and behind your right ankle as in the Upper Calf Stretch, with one difference: bend your right knee to isolate the soleus muscle in the lower part of your calf. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

HAMSTRINGS
Starting position: Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you. Rest your head on the ground.
Movement: Raise your right leg, with a slightly bent knee if needed. Grasp the back of your upper leg (hamstrings) with both of your hands and gently pull toward the center of your body until you feel a stretch in the hamstring. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

QUADRICEPS
Starting position: Lie flat on your stomach, chin on the ground and arms at your sides.
Movement: Raise your right ankle by bending your right knee. Grasp it behind your back with your right hand and then gently pull toward the center of your body until you feel a gentle stretch in the quadriceps muscles (the front of the thigh). Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.
Variation: If lying down on your stomach is uncomfortable, do this stretch standing up. Hold on to a tree or other support with your free hand, if necessary, as you grasp your ankle and gently pull it toward your body.

HIP FLEXORS
Starting position: Sit in a kneeling position with your left leg forward. Your right knee and left foot will be on the ground, with both knees bent at 90-degree angles.
Movement: Imagine that your pelvis is a bowl of water on a table. Now, think of gently tipping the water out of the bowl from the back as you gently press the bottom part of your pelvis forward and the top part of your pelvis slightly back so that you feel a stretch in the muscles that connect the front of your hip to your right leg. That subtle tipping will activate the hip flexor in the front of your right leg. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

ILIOTIBIAL (IT) BANDS
Starting position: Stand upright near a tree, wall, or other surface for balance. Cross your right leg over your left leg.
Movement: Extend your left arm to the surface for balance. Bend your body to the left with your right arm extended overhead, as though you’re doing a variation on the Side Bender from the Daily Dozen. Your goal is to feel a deep stretch in your right hip extending down to the outer part of your right leg.
Variation: Try the Pigeon Stretch if you’re particularly flexible. Sit on the ground and bend your left leg so that the heel is near the right hip. Extend the right leg straight behind you.

THIGH ADDUCTORS
Starting position: Sit upright with legs bent and heels placed together in front of you.
Movement: Gently press your knees toward the ground to feel a stretch in the adductors (inner thighs). Hold for 20 seconds.

BACK STRETCH
Starting position: Lie down on your back with knees bent and feet on the ground.
Movement: Gently move your knees to the left, placing them on the ground, making sure to also keep your shoulders on the ground. You should feel a stretch in your middle and lower back. Extend your arms to either side, and move your head so that you are looking to the right (away from your bent knees). Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

STOMACH AND CHEST STRETCH
Starting position: Lie on your stomach, palms placed on the ground on either side of your chest, directly below your shoulders.
Movement: Look up toward the sky, gently curving your back while supporting your weight, hands on the ground. This is popularly known as the Cobra pose in yoga. Hold for 20 seconds.

TRICEPS STRETCH
Starting position: Stand upright or sit on your knees with your upper body strong and straight. Lift your left arm above your head and bend the left elbow to stretch the left triceps muscles.
Movement: Place your right hand on your left elbow to support the stretch, gently pressing the elbow back until you feel the muscle stretching. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

SHOULDER STRETCH
Starting position: Stand near a tree or another support. Place your left hand on the support, with your left arm fully extended.
Movement: Without moving your feet, rotate your body to the right until you feel a stretch in your left shoulder and the left side of your chest. Hold for 20 seconds. Switch sides.

FINAL BREATHING
To finish the Home Stretch, take five full breaths. First, exhale and deeply Squat to the ground, arms downward. Inhale by pushing up on your heels, extending your legs, and reaching your arms to the sky. Take these breaths very slowly and deliberately — you’re bringing relaxation into all areas of your body at the end of your workout, setting the tone for the next stage peacefully and with a great workout behind you.

- 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, 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!

RMI Guide Alex Van Steen climbing at sunrise on Mt. Rainier

3591 views

1

Mt. Everest Expedition: Dave’s Thirteenth Everest Summit

Posted by: | May 21, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest

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.

Dave Hahn, Lucky #13 Mt. Everest Summit Linden Mallory and Dave Hahn on the summit of Mt. Everest, May 21, 2011. Everest sunrise shadow and Dave Hahn on the radio to Base Camp. Photo: Linden Mallory

Sign Up For Everest 2011 Email Alerts

3414 views

11

Mountaineering Training | Fit To Climb: Week 4

Posted by: | February 25, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

By the end of this week you’ll be a quarter of the way through Fit To Climb! This week’s should be familiar, except we will add a Fitness Test on Day 6.

Fit to Climb: Week 4 Schedule

DAY WORKOUT TOTAL TIME DIFFICULTY
1 Rainier Dozen / Easy Hiking ( 30 min) 42 min. Medium
2 Rainier Dozen / Stair Interval Training (40 min) 52 min. Hard
3 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
4 Strength Circuit Training x 2 38 min. Hard
5 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
6 Rainier Dozen / Cross Training (1 hr) 72 min. Hard
7 Hike (3 hrs) 182 min. Medium
Total 6 hrs 46 mins


FITNESS TEST

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.

Complete the Fitness Test as follows:

After a good ten-minute warm-up followed by the Rainier Dozen, first do the timed run. Go at a speed that feels like an intense effort. Record your time. Then, rest for 5 minutes by gently walking or just pacing slowly back and forth.

For the strength test portion, find an area that has a solid, level, and soft surface. Grass is perfect but you can also do this indoors if you prefer. During this test, you will perform four exercises for 2 minutes each, with 3 minutes of rest between each exercise.

For the first three exercises, the goal is to count the number of perfect repetitions you can complete in 2 minutes. For a reminder on good form for these exercises, refer to the Rainier Dozen post (Week 3). If you do this with a partner, you can rest while counting their repetitions—along with providing encouragement! For the fourth exercise, the Shuttle Run, simply time yourself. Write down your scores for each test.

Perform the strength test as follows:

1. Push-ups—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
2. Steam Engines on Back—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
3. 3/4 Squats—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
4. 20-yard Shuttle Run—Set up your shuttle run course with some cones or water bottles. If you aren’t sure of measurement use 25 normal paces as a guide. Run back and forth between your markers for 2 minutes, counting each loop as one.

- John Colver

Have a question? See the Fit To Climb FAQ for explanations of specific exercises and general pointers to help you through the Fit To Climb Program.

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.

3396 views


Mountaineering Training | Fit To Climb: Week 5

Posted by: | March 04, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Fit to Climb: Week 5 Schedule

DAY WORKOUT TOTAL TIME DIFFICULTY
1 Rainier Dozen / Easy Hiking ( 30 min) 42 min. Medium
2 Rainier Dozen / Stair Interval Training (50 min) 62 min. Hard
3 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
4 Rainier Dozen / Strength Circuit Training x 3 46 min. Hard
5 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
6 Rainier Dozen / Cross Training (1 hr) 72 min. Hard
7 Rainier Dozen / Hike (3 hrs) 192 min. Medium
Total 6 hrs 18 mins

BRIEFING
 
This week’s training plan looks very similar to last week’s. The day of your fitness test reverts back to your choice of cross-training. On day 7, the length of the hike increase by about an hour or lengthened about two miles. The primary training goal this week is to begin to extend your aerobic endurance, which you’ll achieve by the increase in length of the hike. 
 
Adding an hour may seem like a small increment; but you are going from a medium length hike to a longer one requiring a fairly substantial effort.
 
There are several subtle but important things to consider as you increase the length of your hike. One of the biggest ones is energy consumption. Many people can do a two hour hike without any special preparation, and you’ll probably have enough energy to complete it just fine. However, to be successful maintaining energy throughout a three hour hike, you’ll want to be diligent in preparing, specifically with nutrition, to make sure you have enough fuel in your body for the entire hike. Be sure to pack enough snacks to keep you fueled for the entire time! 
 
You’ll also want to consider what you carry in your day pack. On a two hour hike, you may never be more than an hour from the parking lot. As you go further out, this creates additional consideration for self-responsibility and risk management. You’ll want to make sure you have the ten essentials in your pack and also have an emergency plan in case a mishap should occur. This includes letting people know where you’re going, and/or also hiking with other people.
 
SUMMARY
 
Week five can be a positive breakthrough, the week where many people feel a demonstrable increase in their fitness. Often-times, the thing which people notice is an increased aerobic capacity; you simply can do more without getting out of breath. Some people also report feeling stronger. All of this makes sense. If you’ve done all the workouts, you’ll have logged 25 solid days of training. This amounts to 25 improvement cycles! As long as you’re practicing good self care, you can’t help but feel stronger. 
 
It’s important to acknowledge the progress and perhaps celebrate in some way. You should feel confident about what you’re doing; you’ve made significant gains and the foundation you’re building at this point will result in greater gains still as the next few weeks unfold!

- John Colver

Have a question? See the Fit To Climb FAQ for explanations of specific exercises and general pointers to help you through the Fit To Climb Program.

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.

Sunrise high on the shoulder of the Emmons Glacier, Mt. Rainier

3342 views

1

Mt. Everest: Update 4-18-14

Posted by: Mark Tucker | April 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575'

April 17th - 11:20 pm Pacific Time

RMI Guide and Everest Base Camp Manager Mark Tucker reports that RMI climbers, Sherpa and guides are safe at Everest Base Camp.  Around 7 am local time on April 18th an avalanche occured below the West Shoulder continuing down into the Khumbu Ice Fall.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the teams on Mt. Everest.

Sign Up For Everest 2014 Email Alerts

3263 views

36

Kara, So relieved to hear you are all OK. We’re thinking of all of you and sending our thoughts and prayers to families of those lost.  Take care of each… read more

Posted by: monica on 4/18/2014 at 5:25 am

Glad to hear the RMI team is safe.  My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.  Take care of each other. To the Sherpa and their families, my condolences.

read more

Posted by: Josh Jones on 4/18/2014 at 5:21 am


Shishapangma: RMI Team Ready to Begin Rotations Above Camp 1

Posted by: Jake Beren | September 20, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Guide News *Everest

Hey guys, this is the Shishapangma team.  We are just calling to check in.  Everybody is well.  We did feel the big earthquake the other day.  Both our team up at Camp 1 and our team at BC are just fine.

We are going to send another team up in the direction of Camp 1 later this afternoon.  We are going to start our rotations a little higher up.  All is well here.  We are waiting for a weather window and just hanging out.

So, we hope all is well back in Ashford.  We’ll be giving you a shout when we have a little more to say.  That is all from Tibet.

RMI Guide Jake Beren

Sign Up For Guide News 2011 Email Alerts

3181 views


Mt. Rainier: Remembering Our Climbing Friends

Posted by: | June 01, 2014
Categories: *Mount Rainier

Our thoughts are with our friends at Alpine Ascents and with the family and relatives of the guides and climbers involved in the climbing accident on Mt. Rainier. The climbing community is tightly knit and we feel the loss deeply. Our sincerest thoughts and prayers go out to all of those involved.

Please join the climbing community for a memorial service for Eitan Green and Mathew Hegeman:

Saturday, June 21, 2014 | 3 - 5 pm
The Mountaineers | 7700 Sandy Point Way NE | Seattle, WA 98115

- The RMI Team

3118 views

6

Lou Whittaker Interview

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.

Lou Whittaker

3098 views


Mountaineering Training | Cross Training

Posted by: | January 21, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

As we focus forward on the training for this year’s climbing adventures, we know we’ll be hiking, climbing, probably doing some stair interval training with heavy packs, and developing strength training routines.

The training adventures need not be boring though, cross-training keeps us both balanced and motivated.

I like to categorize my cross training by asking, “Is this a direct benefit to mountain climbing or is this activity more general conditioning focused?” Sports like cycling, cross-country skiing or skating have a very direct benefit in building endurance for the mountains, in fact a bike ride can be a perfect substitute for a hike.

Other sports like soccer, kickboxing, or activities like dancing and yoga, while perhaps not as directly related to mountain climbing, can have wonderful benefits for overall conditioning.

Thinking out of the box completely, I met a person last week who did remarkably well on a training hike despite not having ‘trained’ very much. I asked him where he thought his fitness came from and he said, “I’m a UPS driver, I use a pedometer to track my steps and generally do 15,000 steps each day - most of them carrying boxes.” 15,000 steps equals about 5 miles walking! I think he’s going to have a big head-start on his 16 week training program!

Cross training is an important part of your training program, keeping you mentally engaged and physically healthy. Beyond the cornerstones of your regular training program that includes long hikes, short intense sessions, and strength training, what fun things do you enjoy to do to which add to your fitness? Are you lucky enough to have one of those jobs which gets you walking during the day? How can you plan your days to add an activity or sneak in a few extra miles from place to place? 

Get outside and be creative with your cross training!

- 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.

Questions? Comments? Share your thoughts with John and other readers on the RMI Blog!

An RMI Team climbing the Ingraham Direct at sunrise, Mt. Rainier.

2941 views

2

10 Things to Experience on the Trek to Everest Base Camp

Posted by: | July 23, 2014
Categories: *Everest BC Trek

There is something to admire around every turn of the 31 mile trail through the Khumbu Valley from Lukla to Everest Base Camp. Monasteries, cultivated fields, grazing yaks, and tiny villages all share the valley, sitting beneath the some of the world’s tallest and most stunning mountains. A few of our guides sat down to compile a list of ten things to be sure and experience on the Everest Base Camp Trek:
 
10. View From Kala Patar: It’s not widely known, but the view from the top of Kala Patar, a rocky outcropping above Gorak Shep, provides a sweeping panorama from Everest to Ama Dablam and are far better than those of Base Camp.

Views of Everest from Kala Patar (RMI Collection).  

9. Lama Geshe: A renowned spiritual leader living in a small house in Pangboche, Lama Geshe never fails to greet visitors with a deep laugh and broad smile. As he chants prayers in his native Tibetan in a deep but soft voice, he provides a fascinating appreciation and insight into the Buddhist process of embarking on a journey, whether for an Everest Expedition or a trip to visit distant relatives.

Lama Geshe blesses an RMI climber (Linden Mallory).
 
8. Momos: Akin to Chinese dumplings, the Nepalese momo is a delicious treat after a long day on the trail.

Nepali momos (RMI Collection)
 
7. Afternoon prayers at the Tengboche Monastery: After making the 1,300’ ascent to the ridge top Monastery, find a seat along the edges of the Dokhang (the prayer hall), framed by a two story tall golden statue of Buddha, and listen to the deep chants of the resident monks fill the space.

Afternoon prayers at the Tengboche Monastery (Linden Mallory)
 
6. Exploring Namche Bazaar: Perched on a hillside in the middle of the Khumbu, Namche Bazaar is the cultural and economic hub of this mountainous region. Yaks, monks, and Tibetan traders share the narrow streets with locals and trekkers alike, and a new discovery can be found around every corner, from tailors to bakeries to monasteries and museums.

Namche Bazaar at night (RMI Collection).
 
5. The experience of trekking lodge-to-lodge: After a warm breakfast served in a cozy dining room, shoulder a light day pack with only the gear you need for the day, leaving your duffel outside your door, and start up the trail. Spend the day wandering through villages, fields, and valleys, until you reach your next night’s teahouse where your bag awaits. The teahouses are simple but comfortable, with cozy community dining rooms to eat, relax, and socialize in and sleeping rooms just down the hall. 

An RMI trekker relaxes in the teahouse in Pheriche (Linden Mallory)
 
4. The Trail: While the excitement of trekking to Base Camp is reaching  the foot of Everest at the end of the trail, the wonder comes from the entire experience of traveling the trail, where a simple centuries old footpath serves as both highway through the valley and the villages’ Main Streets. Slow your pace now and again to look around and take in the shops, homes, and life that all happens right along the path!

Melissa Arnot and Peter Whittaker spinning prayer wheels on the trek to Everest Base Camp (Jake Norton / FA)
 
3. Island Peak’s summit ridge: Ringed by several of the world’s greatest mountains (Nuptse, Lhotse, Everest, and Ama Dablam), the airy summit ridge of Island Peak provides all of the excitement of Himalayan climbing in a short extension to the spring trek.

RMI climbers on Island Peak's summit ridge (Linden Mallory)
 
2. Spending the night at Everest Base Camp: you’ve walked all that way, why turn around and leave again in a matter of hours? Spending the night in Base Camp is a peek into the full experience of embarking on an Everest Expedition and enjoying a cup of tea while watching the sun peak over the top of the Western Cwm is an unforgettable moment.

RMI tents at Everest Base Camp (Jeff Martin)
 
1. Stopping to soak it all in: The Khumbu is simply an amazing place. One of the best things is just being there: stopping to dig your heels into the ground and looking around. There is nowhere else in the world like it.

RMI trekkers soaking in the view near Lobuche (Linden Mallory)

Ready to experience the Khumbu for yourself? Join RMI on a trek to Everest Base Camp!

2933 views

4

Previous Page More Entries