Steve House’s 16-Week Eiger North Face Training Plan

This plan is ideal for ANY big technical alpine climbing route. I originally conceived of and designed this training plan for a climber prepping for a 1-day ascent of the 1938 Route on the Eiger’s North Face. It would work very well for any big technical alpine climb from the Moonflower Buttress (aka Bibler-Klewin Route) to the Walker Spur to the 4,500m-long Intégrale de Peuterey on Mont Blanc.

The plan includes a bonus 1-week maintenance plan that can be repeated up to four weeks while you’re waiting for your objective to come into condition. It also includes tips on where to acclimate pre-climb if you are heading to the Eiger. Be sure to read Steve’s full article about climbing the Eiger.

Having climbed the 1938 Route on the Eiger, and many similar routes, I felt I understood the fitness requirements specific to this type of climbing. This plan is designed for a climber who already possesses the technical skills required for such a route, but needs to ensure the aerobic and climbing-specific fitness. This plan will work well for climbers planning 1, 2, or 3 day ascents of the Eiger North Face or any classic big alpine route.

For more technically difficult climbing routes such as the harder climbs on the Eiger or the difficult routes on the Grandes Jorasses, I would recommend that that a climber use this plan supplemented with additional technical-climbing-specific training and extend the plan by repeating weeks 13 and 14 twice each.

This plan includes a four-week transition period and gradually progresses the strength and aerobic work throughout the 16-week period with the last ten days being a taper period. This plan contains consecutive hard weeks of training, but you do not have to be already training to use this plan. That’s why the transition period is included

This plan assumes you’ll be mixed climbing, using ice tools. It is not designed for hard alpine rock climbing.

Here’s useful beta about how to purchase and start your new plan and why we use TrainingPeaks.  For specific questions about this training plan, or to send us your success story email us at

-Steve House 
IFMGA-certified Mountain Guide, Coach, and Founder of Uphill Athlete