Show Notes and Links:

Worth buying if focused on the Ruth Gorge for Joe Puryear’s article:
New Alaska Ice book (because someone asked):
University of Washington Weather:

No American climber is more known for the Smash-and-Grab style of alpinism than our very own coach John Frieh. Smash-and-Grab climbing means that he would build his fitness, track the weather, and buy last-minute tickets to Alaska. Once there, he’d fly into the mountain, climb, and fly out asap. He climbed the first ascent of the west ridge of Burkett Needle over the 2009 4th of July weekend and since then he’s taken 20 trips to Alaska, averaging three days per trip and about half have resulted in first ascents.

In this live Zoom talk John and Uphill Athlete co-founder Steve House will discuss the nuts and bolts of this style of climbing.

John and Steve will cover:

  • Who this can do this?
  • The role of training and building fitness for smash and grab style trips
  • What weather to watch?
  • When to start watching the weather and how to record it.
  • How to plan and pack for objectives.
  • In which mountain ranges can smash-and-grab be practiced?
  • Tips for making last minute plane tickets less expensive

Please note that we regret the unfortunate coincidence between the current demonstrations and rioting and the title “Smash and Grab”. We had planned this topic many weeks ago. Please understand that this term has been used by climbers for over 30 years and is in no way a commentary on the peaceful demonstrations or the looting and violence that has followed some demonstrations. 

 Originally recorded on June 4, 2020

Also featuring coach John Frieh:

Special Operations Training: The Aerobic Way

John deadlifting
John deadlifting 515# (234kg) at a bodyweight of 185lbs.

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