Author Topic: Ice climbing and fitness  (Read 447 times)

Online tradmanclimbz

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Ice climbing and fitness
« on: March 18, 2014, 08:26:52 PM »
We all know that good fitness helps your climbing but i find that the return on strength and endurance is more obvious for me with ice. Rock I get the biggest return simply from loseing weight.  Ice climbing seems to entail more brute strength and endurance to get up the bigger routes.  Anyways I have had a pretty decent ice season this year and I credit my resurgent intrest in nordic sking the last few years for helping it happen. Seems like nordic is almost perfect workout for ice climbing?
  I have $10.00 skies and poles from the listen center. The skies are a traditional kick and glide wax ski but my style is a weird mix of kick and skate. Isa is on fancy new skate gear so when I go with her it must be pretty funny watching the guy in jeans or wooly pants on 25yr old skies trying to keep up  with  the really fast chick in the perfect outfit but it gets me in shape.
  Humping up into Smuggs and still haveing the gas to do a harder climb is a good feeling. The lake seems to require  a reasonably full gas tank. I am still in patheticly poor shape but it is a lot better than it was 3 years ago..... I wish there was something areobic that I actually enjoy in the summer to keep it going...  I tried getting back into MMA style bag work a few years ago and it just flared up a bunch of old injuries.

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2014, 08:33:17 PM »
ride the bike in the summer...nordic ski in the winter.

works for me
Al Hospers
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Online tradmanclimbz

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2014, 08:52:38 PM »
I know you bikers have a huge advantage I just can not seem to make myself like any kind of serious riding. My idea of a fun bike ride is a 2 mile jaunt to the lake to go swimming and maybe stop at the store for ice cream on the way home. my boss on the otherhad seems to think it is fun to ride all VT gaps in a day :P

Offline JJ Jameson

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2014, 09:30:09 PM »
Funny, I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago. I can , off the couch, with modern tools and pro, get up a hard 4, and with a bit of fitness, a 5, and pretty solid mixed, and this, only getting out less than 15 days a season. This is as hard as I ever climbed, way back in the day. On rock? Whole different story. Used to be able to lead, off the couch, pretty much any 5.11 on site, east or west coast. Hardest on sites were about 12c, trad and sport, both about the same. I think it's VERY safe to say, I will NEVER be able to climb rock that hard, ever again. So.... Is hard ice easy to climb? Compared to rock? For me absolutely. Why?

Online tradmanclimbz

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2014, 09:49:43 PM »
Hard ice is very easy compared to hard rock. It is just a lot scarier to lead and more physical work lugging the tools, boots winter clothes etc through the snow etc.  The thing that makes hard ice  hard to lead is the fact that if you blow it you have about a 50/50 chance of ending up in the emergency room with an open tib fib.  Heck I can get just about any physicaly fit athelete up 4+ or 5 ice on day 1.  Often it does not matter how strong you are on rock if you do not have the right technique you are not getting up  a lot of 5.10's   
 The fitness angle for me with ice is  strength builds confidence. If I know that I have the guns to hang in there on the steep and get screws in I will have the confidence to keep the rope moveing up and I will have success on bigger , harder routes.  If I arrive at the base of Ragnarock hucking my lungs all over the snow chances are pretty good that I turn arround and end up on Wattership down instead....

Offline steve weitzler

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 10:55:02 AM »
So for ice-climbing and fitness: Lots of running. Mostly on trails and hilly. Most of the approaches take place on hiily terrain so simulating that makes the most sense to me.  When I lived in N. Conway I used to run reps on the auto road on Cathedral twice a week.  That was a long time ago so these days I do a hill workout twice a week. For strength I have bolted two old wooden (gives away my age) ice ax shafts to the beams in my basement.  I wrap them in sandpaper and do lots of pull ups on them. Also do lots of pull ups in general. My footwork has always been sketchy so I find nothing works better for me than knowing I can pull through things if I have to. I had knee surgery 5 weeks ago so I am not doing many hills this spring but hope to be ready for the Mt. Wash Road Race on June 21st.

Offline Jeff

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 04:57:22 PM »
So, does that mean that you don't have to run many hills to train for Mt. Washington, because after all "it's only one hill"? Seems bogus to me! :P :D 8)

Offline steve weitzler

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 06:44:49 PM »
No you got to run lots of hills!! :( :( :(

Online tradmanclimbz

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Re: Ice climbing and fitness
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 09:02:51 PM »
The reason i feel nordic sking is so great for ice climbing is   you get a decent arm workout while you build your wind. It just feels to me that the poleing motion is perfect simulator for ice.