Fritz, I do have rough CTL numbers that make me feel a bit more warm and fuzzy when folks head off to certain peaks. For things like Whitney/Grand Teton/Rainier/Hood a CTL of 70-80 seems prudent and for more demanding peaks like Acon/Denali/Everest 90-120. I realize the peaks in those groups are not all exactly the same in difficulty but it gives you an idea. Ultimately I feel like CTL is a proxy for volume so it’s not an exact science of course but rather a good starting place for a discussion. For example, I feel better about someone who has a CTL of 85 slowly grown over a 24 month period with lots of sport-specific work in the final months than someone with a CTL of 115 that only encompasses 4 months of training with lots of cycling and rowing for instance. That said where I think CTL becomes very useful is for comparison with your own past years/training cycles as you progress. If it peaked at 80 last year and you climbed your goal peak and felt solid then hitting 90 this year for a slightly more difficult peak makes a lot of sense. For determining “readiness I like to look at 1) Are you recovering from the training load? (if not everything else is moot) 2) Have you been feeling strong on intermediate goals/training climbs? 3) Lastly I look at metrics like CTL.
In your experience with many climbers, have you found CTL scores needed for success on specific peaks? As an example, 80 for Rainier, 100 for Aconcagua, 110 for Denali? Or are there too many variables to be specific about the needed CTL?
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