May 2022 Introductions / Goals / Geographies

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  • #67045
    Stephanie Stefanski

    Hey everyone!

    Creating this topic for everyone in the May 2022 mountaineering group to introduce themselves and share any goals / trips you are planning for, as well as where everyone is based.

    I’m Stephanie, a consultant based in Washington DC (I find 1’000+ ft elevation gains where I can) and I spend my time running, hiking, and climbing, all as part of my training for bigger adventures in the mountains. I recently summited Aconcagua in Feb 2022, and Mt. Rainier last July 2021, but want to continue to build my endurance and strength to tackle other mountains more comfortably (e.g., being able to carry more weight – I’m fairly petite so I’m always fighting against my height/size factor). Happy to talk about any of those experiences. I’ve also done some mountaineering in Ecuador, and backpacking / hiking all over Patagonia, where I used to do research on sustainable development and the intersection of conservation, tourism, and other industries.

    My current adventure plans/goals:
    May 21: Half marathon with 1,000′ elevation gain
    June 22-29: Yosemite hiking (and maybe climbing?) – looking for others to join on some full day hikes!
    July 30-Aug. 9: Kilimanjaro expedition, potential to tack on Mt. Kenya
    Oct. 30: Marine marathon – will be my first!
    Dec 2022 (TBD): Cotopaxi/Chimborazo or another Andean climb in Peru. Currently scoping out options and would love any suggestions.
    Jan. 1: Mt Washington, NH

    Let me know if anyone wants to join for some hikes in Yosemite, or out here on the East coast!

  • Moderator
    krish on #67050

    Thanks for creating this thread! I’m Krish, and this is my 3rd time in the UA big mountain training group. The last 2 have been absolutely life changing for me re: my goals and ambitions. So, I’m honored to be able to continue.

    I’ve spent the past 16yrs starting our family and decided to get back into the mountains a year ago….shooting for Rainier this July, with hopefully much more to come.

    This program, group and set of coaches are simply outstanding. The biweekly Zoom calls are therapy for me (a welcome break from work!), and it’s been great to finally get a meaningful set of workout programs.

    Nice to meet everyone!

    Jason H. on #67055

    Hi everyone, this is my third round of the training group.

    I live in Virginia Beach, VA. I’ve done some climbing in the PNW and Alps, most recently I summited Kili in February and will go back to Mt. Baker for a short trip this summer. Planning for Aconcagua or maybe a Denali prep course this winter.

    Looking forward to the group and good luck to everyone on their upcoming climbs.

    Steve on #67056

    Hi Steve here. This is my first time to this group. I am based out of the Finger Lakes Region of NY. I spend a lot of time hiking out here in the Catskill, Adirondack and White mountains in the Northeast. I have climbed most of the 4k footers here in the Northeast. Also done a little climbing in the ‘Gunks. More recently I have been trying to shift more from hiking / trekking to mountaineering. I have backpacked thru Yellowstone, done some hiking in Arizona, trekked Kili and a bunch in Peru. I have done a couple of climbs on Baker and climbed Rainier in 2020.

    Current outlook for me:
    July 2022: Rainier
    August 2022: Chimborazo

    After that I am considering a climb of Denali and / Aconcagua for 2023.

    Really looking forward to the insights from the Coaches and other Group Participants. I have used the UA 24 Week Plan in the past with good success so am hoping this helps take my understanding, performance and introduction to a broader community up a notch. Fingers crossed the Training Peaks salad is kind to me! I do see both plans overlaid there…

    Good to meet everyone and looking forward to the next 12 weeks or so!


    Victor Grijalva on #67060

    Hello, Victor from Dallas, Texas here. Married with 2 kids that are out of the house, 2 dogs (golden doodles), 57 years old and retired. First time user of training group although I used the UA Expedition 24 week plan to successfully climb Denali last year. Not much to climb here in Dallas so getting elevation for training is a challenge.

    Most recent climb was Mexico Volcano (Pico de Orizaba) in February of this year. Scheduled to Climb Mont Blanc (7/22), Ecuador volcanoes including Chimborazo (11/22) and Mount Vinson (1/23). Looking to further my fitness by getting insights, tips, information, feedback from this group and coaches that might not be available from a book. Also, I think this program will help keep me motivated to train.

    Good luck everyone during your training and upcoming climbs!

    Kevin Lawlor on #67062

    Hi, Kevin from Salt Lake City. I’m a long time rock climber but am looking to do more alpine and ski mountaineering objectives, especially as my kids get a bit older and I have more flexibility to do longer objectives. Eventually I’d like to do The Trilogy in the Alps (the north faces of Eiger, Matterhorn, and Grandes Jorasses) and ski the Grand Teton. For this summer I’m hoping to do something like the Northwest Ice Couloir or the Black Ice Couloir in the Tetons while still doing a lot of rock climbing.

    rcj on #67072

    Hello, I’m Ryan. This is my second round of the training group. I started last time in Beginner despite being on what I thought was the edge, even leaning more toward Intermediate. I was not disappointed. Beginner, even for those who have been doing some training, will be a solid, consistent starting point for building that base.

    I will be on Mt. Shasta next week, but joined for the summer because I love the structure and ease of having these workouts determined for me. I love to see it on paper and then execute, and not having to put it on paper is a bonus for me.

    My ultimate goal is Denali, likely in the next three years. Based on how I do next week and through the summer program, Rainier next year (did it in 2015) and Denali the year after that (attempted in 2016) is the current goal.

    I’m in Reno, Nevada and have plenty of hills to work out on. Would love to learn of someone else in the area to maybe work a few more remote places in together as we go along.

    Jeremy on #67076


    Jeremy here from Vancouver BC.

    I started trail running because of a shoulder injury that prevented me from performing my regular exercise. Fell in love with trail running and discovered i had a poor aerobic base. Im in a trail running group that runs between 8 – 16 km on Saturdays. I run 2x a week in the morning for about 45 each.

    My goals keep getting bigger. It started as running a marathon, now summiting mountains seems like fun. I have little to no experience in mountaineering etc but i figure best to start with aerobic base and fitness. If anyone has recommended progression of summits for beginners let me know. I have hills everywhere living in the PNW.

    Nice to meet you all.



    MarkPostle on #67082

    I made this thread sticky for the moment so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. I think its great for folks to connect here.

    Chad Di Stefano on #67097

    Great Thread!

    I’m Chad, 42, based in Miami Florida. My family and I spend a lot of time in Placerville, CO where we have a home. I really enjoy getting out in the mountains and have done lots of skiing (first love), hiking and some climbing (climbing is a new thing for me but I’m really enjoying it) in the San Juans and also throughout Colorado and Utah. I built a 12 x 8 climbing wall in my back yard in Miami during COVID and it’s been great for my two girls and I, although I get some funny looks and questions being in Miami!

    This summer I’m hiking the Grand with friend for his 40th birthday in July and doing a mountaineering skills course on Mt. Baker in August. My goals are to do Mt. Blanc in 2023, Ranier in 2023, and Denali in 2024 or 2025.

    I signed up for this program because I read Training for the New Alpinism and Training for the Uphill Athlete over the last year and loved them. I’ve tried to incorporate the principles into my training, but I still feel like some pieces are missing. I hate doing strength so I’m hoping this structure motivates me a bit more. Also my aerobic capacity doesn’t seem to be progressing much.

    It’s fun to read everyone’s stories and thanks so much to Stephanie for setting this up!

    Joe Molloy on #67101

    Hey everyone! Nice to meet you all

    I’m Joe, from Australia, and living in Switzerland. I’m a ski touring instructor, but work in Tech in Zürich.

    I loosely followed the uphill athlete philosophy in the pre-season of the 2020/21 winter to pass the guiding intake exam, and it revolutionised my season. I had grown up with “if it doesn’t hurt it’s not training”, so having an aerobic base for the first time in my life was pretty awesome.

    I joined the program to keep the fitness up after the winter season, and work on a base for some mountaineering and alpine climbing here in the Swiss alps in the summer.

    Just about to head off on the last ski mountaineering trip of the season to the Finsteraarhorn in a few hours 😀

    Get in touch if you want to talk European climbing, especially if you’re living over here or planning a trip!


    SFmike on #67113

    Great thread.

    Howdy. I’m Mike from San Francisco. Been climbing/backpacking/mountaineering off and on since I was a teenager but restarted a somewhat structured training plan when TFTNA was originally published (2015?). I found that book after a Shasta climb in 2014 where (I’m not embarrassed to say) I completely bonked to the point of hallucinating on the descent. There were two ultra runners in my group who basically tap-danced up to the top and back down – I was immediately interested in how they trained and I immediately learned that I’d done everything wrong. So here I am…still learning.

    My mountain fitness goals are pretty tame (I think):
    1. General mountain fitness – I want to be strong enough, durable enough, and aerobic enough to be able to slog up Shasta at any given time (and not bonk
    ;^) ). I don’t know what that translates to in a TrainingPeaks CTL measurement, but my gut says it’s somewhere around CTL=60, and I’d like to just maintain that in perpetuity.
    2. General health and durability (there’s that word again). I’m a tall, skinny 46 year-old, who’s always been skinny. So, strength training has become more of a focus for me (nutrition, too).
    3. Climbing goals – As in #1 above, I’d like to be able to go up Shasta without hesitation whenever my younger climber friends offer a last-minute spot with them. I’ve had to turn them down too many times in past years because I wasn’t maintaining sufficient fitness on an ongoing basis. A larger goal would be to visit Orizaba or maybe Chimoborazo later this year.

    I’m looking forward to learning more from UA and the peeps in this forum. And, for anyone in the area who likes to check-off PCT sections…hit me up if you’re game for doing sections in northern california.


    Mariner_9 on #67115

    Hi Jeremy,

    I used to live in Vancouver and found Matt Gunn’s book “Scrambles in Southwest BC” to be a useful source of ideas for hikes/climbs in the region. It was reprinted last year so you should be able to find a copy for a reasonable price.


    Mariner_9 on #67121

    Jeremy – Steven Song’s blog (Steven’s Peakbagging Journey) also has extensive coverage of mountains in the lower mainland/coast. I’ve had issues posting links on the forum – perhaps they get flagged as spam and so are removed? – but his blog is easily found via search. HTH.

    Stephanie Stefanski on #67123

    Wow! It’s so great to hear everyone’s stories and motivations! Really looking forward to working out with you all virtually over the next few weeks.

    I think a few of you have mentioned Chimborazo (Steve, Mike, and Victor)? It’s been on my list for a while, ever since summitting Cayambe and doing a mountaineering course on Cotopaxi back in Jan. 2019. I speak fluent Spanish and know some great guides down there – would also be interested in climbing Chimborazo (and Cotopaxi) later this year or next. My understanding is that conditions on the mountain can be relatively tricky (my friends that attempted in 2018 could not summit due to major rockfall risk / insufficient snow coverage), but would love to hear from anyone else in the group that has managed to climb it.

    Let me know if anyone is interested in planning a trip together – or even just chatting about trip planning/logistics/guides/etc.!

    Matthew Morriss on #67137

    Great thread!

    Hi Matthew here. Salt Lake City based mountain athlete.

    For the past few years, I’ve mostly been focused on long distance running and was training for my first 50k when sidelined by an injury last year. Spent the winter ski touring a lot in the Wasatch, looking forward to training this summer for some objectives in the intermountain west:

    1) Cirque of the Towers Traverse or
    2) Teton Traverse and/or
    3) Run of the teton crest trail

    Hoping to keep building my aerobic base and get more into climbing this next year building up to a 100 km run in 2023 and hopefully another trip to the AK Range, maybe for Mt Huntington.

    I’ve followed TFTNA and TFUA workouts before but all self-coached for Alaska trips and ultra marathon running. Looking forward to some more structure training this time around!

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