Author: David Goettler

Also Listen On : Killian Jornet  and David Goettler recently returned from an attempt at an unassisted, oxygen-less ascent of Everest. Scott Johnston unpacks their experiences of acclimatization, and training cycles at altitude; the unique situation of climbing big mountains, post-lockdown; and the influences of social media on the projection and attainment of goals.  Listen on Apple Listen on Spotify Listen on Google More Episodes View All Training, Stress, and Success for Female Athletes with Alison Naney Training Junior Athletes Training During Lock Down with Mark Sears Through Trauma and Grief with Barry Blanchard The Unexpected Evolution of Uphill Athlete…

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In this episode of the Uphill Athlete Podcast, Scott Johnston talks with elite alpinist David Goettler on a gamut of topics including David’s training history; approaching the big mountain ranges fast and light; the importance of base fitness; learning from failure; fitness versus pre-acclimatization; approaches for a pre-acclimatization “training camp” leading up to high altitude expeditions; the advantages and disadvantages of hypoxic tents for acclimatization training; David’s experience of attempting Everest without oxygen and the challenges of climbing in this style on such a popular mountain; training for marathons as a mountain athlete; and training in less than ideal situations…

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In mountaineering there are no rules. Everybody can draw his or her line. My line, my style, is that I don’t use supplementary oxygen. I don’t enlist Sherpas to transport my equipment and supplies. I climb in as small a team as possible. It is in the harsh environment of high altitude—being exposed and vulnerable on a mountain—that I feel most alive. So far I have summited five 8,000-meter peaks without oxygen: Gasherbrum II, Broad Peak, Dhaulagiri, Lhotse, and Makalu. I came very close on K2 and Shishapangma. On Shishapangma, after a 13-hour single push from the base of the…

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Many people have asked me why I go to the small village of Chukung high in the Khumbu Valley of Nepal to do an annual “training camp.” Actually, “training camp” is a bit of a misnomer; really it should be called a “pre-acclimatization camp.” Even though once I’m there my main focus is running and fast hiking, the primary goal is to jumpstart my body’s acclimatization to high altitude. The reason that calling it a training camp isn’t quite right is that, at altitudes this high, the body won’t respond to training stimuli in the usual way: neither fitness, speed,…

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The following article was written by professional alpinist David Goettler about his return to the south face of Shishapangma in May 2017 to again attempt a new route that he and Ueli Steck had tried in 2016. Below, David reflects on where his personal journey to these mountains has taken him and makes some interesting observations about how a second year of structured training has brought him to a new level of fitness. Progress and Success This year I returned to the south face of Shishapangma. For me to want to return to the same mountain two years in a…

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Steve and I continue to beat the drum of low-intensity training for building endurance. Why are we so focused on it? Early in our careers, we connected some previously unconnected dots and had the proverbial aha moment that shaped our training philosophy. Over the past 15 years of ascents and achievements, both personally and with our clients, that philosophy has proven itself to work very well. Yet we still run into alpine climbers and trainers on a daily basis who continue to use training methods more suited to sport climbers and 5,000-meter…

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I’ve been doing sport for as long as I can remember, mainly mountain sports like rock, ice, and alpine climbing. For the past 20 years, I’ve been going mountaineering all over the world—from the Alps, where I grew up, to the 8,000-meter peaks of the Himalaya where my focus as a professional athlete is right now. I’m also a Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA) mountain guide, and when I am not on an expedition, I regularly work with clients climbing in the Alps and beyond.  I was especially frustrated by my lack of ability to gain more endurance and…

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