Adding bigger vert days into 24-wk mountaineering plan

  • Creator
  • #49303

    Hello, first time posting!

    Began the 24-week expeditionary plan this week. However, I’d already been hiking/ski touring 2000-4000 vertical per day 1-2x per week already, and would like to take advantage of the winter backcountry skiing and some bigger vertical days here and there. Can I continue to incorporate bigger vertical days on the weekends, while otherwise sticking to the plan during the week, or do I need to hold back my current winter objectives in service to my goal of completing the 24-week plan in time for summer climbing/ski mountaineering season?


  • Participant
    pnwclimber on #49314

    Did a bunch of reading and believe I likely have ADS. Did my AeT drift test this week, and will be doing my AnT test today to confirm.

    Assuming ADS is at play, I’m not sure how to approach weekends now. While ultimately, I’m following the 24-wk plan to train for summer climbing season, I am in the midst of ski touring season, and would be bummed if I couldn’t do all day ski tours on Saturdays. Would one 8-hr ski tour per week of 2000-4000 vertical at mostly zone 3+ interfere with development of aerobic base?

    Rachel on #49331

    Here’s an article you might want to check out if you haven’t seen it already: Weakened Weekend Warrior

    Also if you can keep in Z2 for that weekend outing it will go a long ways towards building your aerobic base.

    Rachel on #49332

    Here’s another thread about weekend skin tours:

    Aaron on #49335

    My experience is if you are well trained 8hr Z2 okish but 8hr Z3 not so much. Does not solve your weekly longer day trip goals, but my personal circumstances (read family life) means my 3 week build cycle generally focuses on 2-4hr training tours, and once a month for fun and bigger training stimulus throw in one long 8-10hr ski. I then treat that as an overreach session and throttle down the intensity in that week (say drop a gym ME leading in) and take a rest week after.

    Terrain, partners, snow conditions all really change the training stimulus too. Did a recent 2000m 36km ski day ~10hrs and was able to stay in Z1/2 all day as the terrain was gentle enough and surface conditions were pretty firm. A steeper and deeper day would have thrown me in Z3 hard and would have been less of a useful ‘overreach’.

    Aaron on #49336

    Great links rachelp!

    pnwclimber on #49449

    Very helpful links, @rachelp. I’m still torn as to whether to just say no to the bigger days seeking powder this winter in service to the aerobic base building phase. I’m leaning towards trying to convert as many of those days to AeT heart rate, with perhaps one a month that goes into zone 3+.


    Anonymous on #49702

    Would one 8-hr ski tour per week of 2000-4000 vertical at mostly zone 3+ interfere with development of aerobic base?


    As a rough rule of thumb for events over two hours, you should keep the low-to-high ratio at about 95:5. So for every ten hours of training below AeT (Z1/2), you can do ~30 minutes of intensity above.

    My impression is that you’ve been “spending your money” for a long time and now your account is way overdrawn. You need to pay it back by lower your pace.

    It’s not the long days that you need to say no to; it’s the pace (which for most people means the partners).

    The good news is that once you’ve repaired your aerobic system, you’ll be able to do long days at Z2 or lower, building or maintaining your fitness, while others are destroying theirs.

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