Cross Training – Part I

| August 14, 2008 | 2 Comments

Cross training for ski mountaineering by doing other sports has many excellent advantages as well as keeping things interesting and motivating. Any activity, from walking to skydiving, which involves outdoor exercise on a daily basis is superb. Greg Hill, the man who punched out 1,000,000 vertical feet of hiking in one season and set a 24 hour vertical record of 50,000′ plays golf in the summer. Cross training is also useful as it gives you a greater repertoire of activities that can be blended with skiing to extend its scope. Mountain biking is fun in itself, yet also a good way to approach remote skiing terrain. The rope skills and gear handling you use in summer rock climbing are the same as you use for a ski descent with a rappel. While any sport is better than none, activities that take place in the mountains have aspects that are directly applicable to ski mountaineering, such as navigation, acclimatization and reading the weather.

Trail Running

Trail running in hilly terrain, develops agility and endurance.   It requires almost no gear to do it and delivers a through workout in a short time.  Unless you are biomechanically blessed with perfect joint alignment, excessive trail running can lead to repetitive motion injuries, especially in the hips, knees and ankles.

Petra McDowell running in the Wasatch.  Petra has an all-day pace which works perfectly for ski mountaineering or ultramarathons.
Petra McDowell running in the Wasatch. Petra has an all-day pace which works perfectly for ski mountaineering or winning ultramarathons.

Power Hiking

Nothing gets you fired up for ski mountaineering like spending a fall day hiking around in the hills that you will soon be skiing.  Power hiking is a good, low impact way to work out gear strategies, get a feeling for the amount of vertical you can ascend in a day, develop hourly ascension rates, experiment with different kinds of foods, see how you feel at altitude, practice camping and enjoy the outdoors. 

Dan Rector topping out on a power hike up Mt. Superior.
Dan Rector topping out on a power hike up Mt. Superior.

 

Tomorrow… rock & alpine climbing…

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Category: 16 Conditioning

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (2)

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  1. Schmalenberg says:

    Does drinking beer on the river count as cross training? I also drink a fair bit of beer in the winter, so I’m thinking it does…maybe power drinking would qualify.

  2. Andrew says:

    Absolutely – salvation through hydration. If you stock up on the river during the summer, it will carry over to the winter. :)

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