Steve House

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    Steve House on · in reply to: Grivel Tech or North Machines? #47704

    @deadpoint. I’ve climbed on both pretty extensively. For pure ice climbing, definitely the North Machine. When I’m teaching someone how to ice climb, this is the tool to put in their hands. It’s a natural, well balanced, swing. The picks are, as with all Grivel steel, made from the very best steel. Grivel uses much better steel than any of their competitors use. This is reflected in the price and in the value. They cost a bit more up front but will need to be tuned less and sharpened much less. Enjoy!

    Steve House on · in reply to: Training on Ice Tools question #47659

    Hi @luv2sharpen (nice handle)

    I generally don’t use pinky rests in training. But first, let me address your specific questions:

    My conundrum comes from the desire to get more out of the exercise (ie added grip strength stimulus along with the larger pulling muscles) versus training my motor skills to link overgripping with steep terrain/movement patterns.

    I personally think that training grip control/overgripping is very important. I will often, especially in early season, but also on hard leads consciously relax my grip to close to the minimum needed. I think this is a great tool. I don’t get pumped on regular ice climbing because, I believe, I create so many mini-rests by all these little relaxation exercises. Watch an experienced ice climber drop their arm and shake out their grip just between swings. Going leashless was a revolution here because we learned to let go of the tools and at the same time relax our grips. I’ll often swing, get the stick, and then swap my other hand to the bump grip and then immediately shake out the hand that just was doing the work of getting the stick. Make sense?

    AND wondering whether your thoughts change based on the climber’s background/access to real ice climbing? For example I imagine a newer climber or one who can’t practice technique on routes would need to be more concerned with poor motor programming through training versus a more experienced climber who practices technique on the real deal more often.
    Yes. Exactly. For most new climbers we recommend they simply climb and get feedback/instruction on their climbing as often as possible for at least a few seasons and not worry about training until they hit intermediate or inter-adv. levels.

    I’ve seen the photos/illustrations of Steve in the book hanging from tools without using the pinkie rest, for strength phases of the program, but doing this during a deadhang seems less “risky” to good climbing technique/motor patterns since we rarely use anything resembling a dead hang in real climbing…right?

    I have to admit I’m unclear here as to your question. Let me try to re-state it so my answer might make sense. That training without the pinkie rest in play could be risky to good climbing technique but since we rarely use deadhangs, it’s okay.

    Here’s my thought: In real life I grip the tool where I have to grip the tool to make the moves. And that can be all kinds of different places on mixed routes. I never use pinkie rests because I want the specific training of having to grip an ice tool unsupported. I don’t think about it much more than trying to incorporate as much sport-specific (ice-tool holding-on) training as possible.

    Hope this helps,

    Steve House on · in reply to: Belay Parka–Down vs. Synthetic #42974

    My views haven’t changed. I know synthetic parkas are bulkier, but I also know I almost certainly will not die of hypothermia wearing a wet parka. I do use down, but only in short term situations or places where it is so cold that there is only snow/ice, no water (Denali). Thanks for representing Uphill athlete in NZ!

    Steve House on · in reply to: A question about the mental part? #42578

    Thanks for the heads up!

    Steve House on · in reply to: A question about the mental part? #42325

    I can’t overemphasize how valuable a simple sitting meditation practice can be. I followed a series of Vipassana courses, but there are many good approaches. Even, I hear, some good apps available if you you like. Good luck and thank you for opening up this line of discussion.

    Steve House on · in reply to: Bend Oregon – Going Uphill #41886

    Hi, I lived in and trained in central Oregon for about 6 years. My go-to for ME uphill workouts was Gray Butte at Smith Rock. Go down to the bridge, hang a right, and go to the point where the irrigation canal goes through the tunnel. Start there, or for a couple hundred more feet, start down at the river’s edge. Go straight up the fall line to the summit of Gray Butte. Another fun option, though shorter, is Horse Ridge, out east of Bend off HW 20. And of course skinning Mt. Bachelor, esp the upper half. I did a lot of that! Cheers. Steve

    Steve House on · in reply to: Concussion and Altitude #39396

    Sorry @landers2189 I simply don’t have an answer to this one.

    Steve House on · in reply to: Ice Maintenance During Rock Season #38370

    @jakedev My personal experience is that my core and shoulder strength goes down during rock season. This could be due to the type of rock climbing I like, generally what people refer to now as slab climbing. When I rock climb I’m mostly on my feet and the moves are small. When I’m mixed climbing I tend to use more core (boots/crampons are heavier than rock shoes) and more big-move shoulder strength (and lock-off). It takes me longer to locate good holds dry-tooling than it does rock climbing, probably due to the sensation of fingertips.

    So, what I’ve done is run through a max-strength workout every 10 days or so through the off-season. I found this has provided massive benefits because I didn’t have to start at such a low level when September rolls around. Rather I picked up pretty close to where I had been strength-wise at the end of the winter season. This made my year-on-year gains much greater.

    The one area I didn’t address is grip as it’s specific to holding onto tools. I think the rock climbing gripping translates after about 2 weeks. I think it’s the same muscles, just different ways of activating them.

    Steve House on · in reply to: First Ultra – Thanks! #38369

    Great work @chrisvmarias. We made the plan, but you put the miles into your legs and you deserve the credit for getting it done! Proud of you. Thanks for being an Uphill Athlete.

    Steve House on · in reply to: blood donation #37977

    Hi @Raz
    As I recall it takes about 7 days for a new red blood cell to be made and reach maturity. The process is called erythropoiesis if you want to google more. That said, you’re cranking out new ones all the time so new ones will be entering your blood stream soon. The dip in hematocrit will signal your body to increase production in the short-term, but the maturation time frame is still about 7 days in an adult. I believe in young babies/children it’s quicker.

    In my personal experience with blood donation (note that I live at 7,000′, frequently am above 10,000′) I’ve thought I’ve felt the affect for a week. Nothing debilitating, but definitely feel a bit of a drag.

    Steve House on · in reply to: Guide on Denali #37410

    @Dada I’ve guided a bunch of trips on Denali on both the West Buttress and the West Rib, I think 18 or so in total. The guide services have it super dialed. There isn’t much downside to go with them except potentially bad group dynamics (equal chance of having great group dynamics too). There is always the option of going with a guide service, and once you’ve been there and seen it all, you’ll know if you want to come back with friends without a guide.

    It’s a super magical place and one of the best trips you can do. I truly love it up there and I recommend everyone climb Denali a few times in their lives! Go!

    Steve House on · in reply to: Article with cautions on female fasted training #37409

    @wildmoser.j ROAR is a great book with some good information, but do keep in mind that she is not addressing endurance training. We (UA coaches) also advise against fasted training anytime you are doing high-intensity training or any kind of strength workout. It’s only for zone 1 and 2 aerobic capacity building workouts. Fasted training, as we define it (4-12 hours post meal) is pretty light-touch compared to a lot of what is being discussed as fasted training in the media these days. As with many solid, well-understood training modalities, fasted training is being (has been?) taken out of context and distorted to sell stuff.

    Also keep in mind that while being integrated into your zone 1 and 2 aerobic workouts we advise slowly increasing the time you go without eating, which means carrying a small snack or two. These times will improve over weeks, but it is never a linear progression. One week you’ll need to eat at 30 minutes, the next workout, 40 minutes, the next workout maybe 25 minutes. That’s all okay. It is our experience that most people can do their aerobic workouts and maintain health (health always takes precedence over training) within 4-6 weeks of applying these techniques.

    I do think your morning runs, (put a gel in a pocket) should be fine. Crossfit on only coffee, you could do it but you would have gotten more out of the workouts had you done them fueled. This is the reason we recommend against fasted strength training, carbs are the only fuel for this type of exercise and ignoring that means your muscles simply won’t work as well/fast/strong as they would with cho around.

    Lastly here is an article outlining a typical gradual introduction for fasted aerobic training.

    I hope this helps.

    Tips for Fasted Training

    Steve House on · in reply to: Rope: single + tag, half, or twin? #36238

    @terrylui I was involved, as a consultant, in speccing some lightweight rappel lines for the military about 15 years ago. I managed to retain a sample for myself 😉 It’s very good, but very, very expensive.

    Steve House on · in reply to: Understanding high altitude performance #35663

    +1 what @OwenFW said, fitness does not correlate with incidence of altitude illness.

    We have more experience with this question than probably anyone in the world at this point and I think we can say with confidence that high aerobic capacity positively correlates to high rates of ascent/descent at even the most extreme altitudes.

    Fitness does not inoculate one against AMS/HAPE/HACE. But it does provide your body with more energy to address the needs of acclimatization because you’re not tired. Acclimatization is extraordinarily complex and we only understand a tiny portion, probably 1%, of what the body goes through in it’s adaptation to a new altitude.

    more info here:

    David Goettler and Ueli Steck Put Low-Intensity Training to the Test in the Khumbu


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    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Steve House.

    This is a GREAT podcast and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants a better explanation of the physiology than Scott and I could ever muster. Thanks for posting.

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