Forgot to mention, I’m also looking to head out to the French alps in May for two/three weeks for a final tune up/test.
I aim to climb Denali in June 2018; initially via the West Buttress to acclimatise then via the Cassin Ridge (the main objective).
At present I’m focusing on volume and getting as much running, hiking and climbing done at a low aerobic heart rate as possible, my theory being that this will give me a large base with which to start my proper, structured training. I’ve had two trips to the european alps this year (total of 6 weeks) and last year I spent 3 weeks in the european alps and 3 weeks in Kyrgyzstan, all of it spent climbing or recovering.
I finish my current employment at the start of December and will be at college from then till the end of March (evenings and weekends free). From then till departure for Denali my schedule is, to all intents and purposes, free. I have a gas exchange treadmill test booked at a local university sport lab for the end of this month so I should have a good idea of my HR zones from that (up till now I’ve been assuming a AeT of 150, corresponding to ventilatory markers). I could have waited till I had this test done to make this post but gives me more time.
My questions are the following:
1) Given that I will have six months, the 24 weeks training plan available on this site would seem to be ideal for me. I’m trying to concoct my own based on TFTNA but don’t want to get the volume wrong (my main concern). Perhaps somewhat cheeky but…the average weekly training hours and training load by week shown on this page https://www.trainingpeaks.com/training-plans/other/winter-sports/tp-91004/uphill-athlete-24-week-expeditionary-mountaineering-training-plan, have they been assigned to an individual based on the initial 40 minute test and their training history or are these set values for the plan?
2) I enjoy Scottish winter climbing, ski touring, hill walking and hope to get a lot of these done between November and April, generally both days at the weekend and once March comes around midweek also. The problem is that a Scottish winter day can be anything from 4 to 14 hours long, depending on the route and the approach. Given that this would either be far in excess of my weekly training volume or a significant chunk of it, how can I fit this (generally in the ideal heart rate and technically relevant) climbing into my plan?
3) I’ve looked into the requirements for the West Buttress and some of the loads described (50lb packs plus similar in the sled) seem quite high. I want to know what experienced alpinists, climbing as a team of two or so, carry weight wise. I’m putting in the effort to strengthen my legs but I don’t want to do lasting damage to my back or knees by carrying too much.
4) Based on the information below, what aspects of strength would those with experience of routes like the WB and Cassin recommend I train more of? For example less pushing, more pulling or vice versa.
5) I’ve kept an accurate training and climbing log for the last few years. I’m in the process of duplicating it in Trainingpeaks but; should I count a 14 hour day (for example a day climbing in the French alps, or a long walking day in Scotland) as training time?
To give an idea of my current fitness and technical level in order to assist in answering the above questions, my score in the alpine combine test as of one year ago is:
Box step 31m20s
Box jumps 38
I’m climbing E2 (5.10 or so in American money) and Scottish winter V 6. I’ve been to 5000m twice before and was pleased both times with how I functioned.
Sorry for the long post. Finally, if anyone has anything to chip in that I haven’t already asked for above, please go for it; all experience and information welcome.
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