Combining Ice and Mixed Climbing Plan with Mountaineering Plan

  • Creator
  • #46051


    I’m currently halfway through the 24 week Mountaineering Plan and am planning to do a weekend ice climbing course up in NH. I should be done with my 24 week Mountaineering Plan just before my ice climbing course. However, I do have UA’s 8-week Ice and Mixed Climbing Plan. Is it okay (or even possible) to combine the last 8 weeks of the Mountaineering Plan with the Ice and Mixed Climbing Plan? How would you suggest I approach this? I do indoor rock climbing, but would like to prepare for ice climbing as much as possible to get the most out of the course. My next mountaineering trip is to Peru next August, so I have time for that. My initial intention was to do the 24 week Plan twice before my August climb. Thanks!

Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Participant
    jakedev on #46068

    Hi Buddy,

    So I have been doing variations of this with my own plans. To make a long story short I’ve come to the conclusion that if I’m going to be combining plans then I’m going to have to be OK with slow progression, or at least not progressing as fast in one area as I would like. I think the UA authors have said this many times but I’m stubborn and had to learn the hard way.

    I say that because trying to do both plans as written at the same time (a total of 4 strength workouts a week), with the aerobic volume and work changes and family, quickly led to me being way too exhausted, and I felt like I was just getting more tired and not fitter.

    So less is more. What I do is cut each plans volume in half and combine it together. It could work for you because one plan is more upper body and one is lower body (I would guess).

    A simple example is where it says to do 2 workouts a week I just do 1 from each plan so the total is 2 and I’m not over training, then on the high volume weeks (weeks 3 and 7) I may do a total of 3 workouts (2 from 1 plan and 1 from another) followed by a week of 50% volume and maybe 1 strength workout.

    Or Maybe start the Ice and Mixed Plan and only do Maintenance workouts for your Mountaineering Plan. Then after the first 8 weeks take a week off and start it again with the Mountaineering Plan.

    Make sense? If anybody thinks I’m off base here please throw a wrench.

    John S on #46113

    I am in a similar situation of incorporating ice prep within the longer mountaineering training (I have the same 2 plans), so this response is based on (over)thinking about my own training, but I am by no means an expert!

    My thought would be for you (OP) to simply repeat a section of the 24 week plan (rather than completing it to the end) and substitute the strength workouts with the ones from the Ice Plan, and allocate the climbing workout to a day with easy aerobic training. That will give you the structure for the plan but you would need to increase the length of the run/hiking workouts so that you continue to build that capacity. What weeks you repeat would probably depend on what you think your fitness would benefit most from. If you have massive aerobic capacity and think you need more training going uphill, then repeat Weeks 9-16 (the Max strength block, which has more steep hiking and some Zone 3). If you think you could benefit from more low intensity work, then Weeks 5-12. And then to continue the training after your ice course til the August trip, repeat (again!) from Week 5 with the prescribed strength workouts (and appropriate increases in the aerobic volume). And likely some repeated weeks later in the plan – there are a few threads on that topic.

    For comparison, I am at the beginnning of the 24 Week Mountaineering Plan and am taking the approach of simply “fusing” the strength work from the different plans by incorporating the extra exercises that are in the Ice Plan into the General Strength workout, but still only doing 2 strength workouts a week. When I get to the Ice Specific part, I will likely just do those exercises though. And I have made the Transition Phase a little longer as well. My current plan (which may change as I progress) is:

    Week 1. Core & General
    2. Core & General
    3. Core & General and Ice Fused
    4.  REST WEEK Core & General and Ice Fused
    5. Core & General and Ice Fused
    6. Core & General and Ice Fused
    7. Ice Specific Strength
    8. REST WEEK    Ice Specific Strength
    9. Ice Specific Strength
    10. Ice Specific Strength
    11  Core & General
    12. REST WEEK Core & General
    13  Core & General
    14 and beyond  Max Strength as per plan


    mzkarim on #46138

    Thanks so much for your responses. I will try to incorporate the Plans as suggested above. If that gets too strenuous for me, I can just postpone the ice climbing to the following season and focus on completing the current 24 week Plan and repeating it and doing the Ice Climbing Plan after I’ve done the 24 week Plan the second time. I think I will be quite fit then.


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