Training advice sought for 2024 winter project.
In Feb. 2024 I will embark on something that in the Adirondacks would be called a “Winter 46er through-hike”. This will entail ascending 46 peaks that surpass 4,000′ elevation in a continuous hike that will involve winter camping with no fires for a minimum of 2 weeks. I’ll be re-supplied every 2-3 days with dry clothing and food. The daily elevation gains will average between 4,000′ to 6,000′ and the distances, 5 to 12 miles. I’ll be carrying an overnight winter pack between the bases of the peaks but will only carry it up 2 or 3. There will be some stretches (ie. 2-3 miles) of trail that ascend anywhere from 500 to 2,000′ where I’ll be schlepping the big pack. For the majority of the peaks I’ll be carrying a 15lb. Daypack from base to summit.
I have done three projects in the Adirondacks of similar magnitude and have self-trained using the principles outlined in TftNA, which I have studied in great detail along with TftUA. I usually allow 6 months of structured training to prepare for these projects.
Elements unique to this project are:
1-the pack weight, which in spite of modern gear will surely exceed 40 lbs.
2-breaking trail with snowshoes while carrying that amount of weight.
3-camping out in winter with no heat source for a minimum of 15 nights (probably more).
Mid-August will mark the beginning of structured training and I’ll be in the CDN Rockies from mid-June until mid-September, which will allow me to maintain a decent level of fitness before the real training commences. Prior to going to the Rockies I’ll be hiking regularly in the ADKs for the next 3 months.
I know I’ll have to be careful over the next 6 months to avoid doing too much exercise and getting burnt out or hurt prior to starting a formal training cycle.
My questions (finally got to it!) relate to gym workouts, weighted hill climbs and hiking weights. Naturally, I will want to progress as fluidly as possible but avoid injury at age 67. If you have any suggestions, no matter how general or specific, as to how to build exercise volume (weekly elly gains, time on feet, times in zones, duration and resistance of gym workouts adding weight for both the hill climbs and the hiking) I’m wide open. I should point out that during the project’s execution I’m looking at roughly 35,000 feet of elly per week.
Just to give an indication of the gnarliness of the ADKs: I spent Aug-Sept-Oct. hiking in WY, CO and UT 5 days a week with approx. 15-20k of elly weekly. This was mostly on trails but some off-trail 13ers in CO. When I returned to the ADKs I discovered I had lost significant “ADK fitness” and it took me a solid month of hiking and training to get most, but not all of it back.
Thanks for listening if you’re still with me!
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