Ski Mountaineering

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  • #5996

    I have question about integrating skiing training within a mountaineering plan.

    I’m currently starting my transition period. My alpine objectives are 1 to 2 day moderately technical climbs with ski decents like the north face of Mt Hood. I live in Portland and basically want to be able to climb the more technical routes on the volcanoes then ski down. When looking at my progression from transition to base and so on, I’m having trouble understanding where to place exercises that train my ski muscles, specifically lactate tolerance, explosiveness and eccentric muscle strength endurance. Most of the exercises I see in the book are targeted for ascending but I also need to train myself for the descent. I am also not exactly sure how to integrate max strength, strength endurance and sport specific exercises for both the ascent and descent. Any information you have would be great. Thanks so much!

Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

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    birey on #5997

    I’d like to second everything said above. I have very similar objectives for the Grand Teton, Cascade volcanoes, and the Canadian Rockies. It seems to me one legged squats and box steps do a pretty good job of training our “shock absorbers” and scotts killer core helps us hold a strong form, but any other strength tips for holding those precious edges would be great.

    Also, I’ve noticed in years past that I have a tough time staying below Zone 3 during the descents back to the car. I’ve often felt it is the descent that makes me tired and sore the next day, not all the Zone 1 skinning. Also, my form starts to really break down on long descents, which can be sketchy near the bottom, during the tight tree skiing phase. Any tips?

    geltzeiler on #6000

    This is exactly my concern as well. I think doing exercises like leg blasters, box jumps, shuttle runs and other plymometrics would help, but I’m not sure how to integrate them into a training plan. Any help would be great. Thanks!

    Anonymous on #6026

    Great post guys and timely too. Our standard Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering training plans and workouts purposely focus on the uphill component. That’s for a couple of reasons:

    1) If you become fitter for the uphill you will have more energy and strength for the downhill. By fitter we mean basic aerobic endurance and muscular endurance (ME).

    2) Our plans and suggested ME workouts are intended for more moderate ski touring aspirations. Folks looking so ski tour all day and maybe drop into a 30 degree powder run. They are not designed to Ski Alpinists looking to ski ver steep terrain.

    Your questions are timely because Steve and I are just putting together a training plan aimed at steep skiing. It will be in our store within a week and modestly priced.

    But in general you do need to add in to a training program some specific high intensity shorter duration muscular endurance workouts. These can take the from of isometrics like wall squats, isometric half squats or similar or they can be sets of things like squat jumps, box jumps etc.


    birey on #6029

    I’ll look forward to seeing the steep skiing training plan, Scott. In the meantime, I’ll carry on with my general strength during the second half of my transition phase. Thank you for your reply.

    geltzeiler on #6033

    Thanks so much for the reply. Very much looking forward to the ski alpinism training plan. As I am currently starting up my transition period, for now per your advice, I think I will do two days a week of long zone one aerobic base work, two days a week general strength training for the transition period, one long “outing” each weekend and finally one day of legblasters with Vsum bouldering. I was thinking like five sets moving directly from the leg work to the climbing. This will be how I utilize my zone 2-3 time, with climbing and skiing exercises in a specific fashion without detracting from my aerobic base and endurance work. Does that seem reasonable?

    Thanks again for all your help.

    birey on #7204

    I am starting into my ninth week of base training and thus am about to do my first muscular endurance (ME) workout. Based on the advice above, I’m planning on doing one ME workout in the gym focused on circuits of the downhill specific exercises and upper body ME. I’m planning on doing another ME water jug carry on steep terrain each week and I see that this workout is optimally done at a near or perceived Zone 3 pace (pace limited by the weight, terrain, and legs, not by lungs and heart). My question is, should I consider this jug carry my Zone 3 workout for the week as well, even though I don’t actually get into Zone 3?

    I’ve described what I’m training for earlier in this thread but will add that I’ve gone through two training cycles in the last three years, skipping last year due to other commitments. I hardly skied at all last year and want to make sure to get plenty of long easy distance (LED) skis in this year to polish technique. I am time limited, but I don’t want to cut short the benefits of Zone 3 training.

    Thank you,


    Anonymous on #7233


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