I finished up my last training hike for my Mt Elbrus climb Monday. This next week will be just light workouts on the stationary bike and maybe one more work out with the pack on the elliptical. But other than that, I will be backing off in preparation for the climb. All I’ve been doing this past 4 – 6 weeks is training with the pack. Either out in the foothills or on the elliptical. Not much in the way of weight training. Even when we went to Stanley a week ago I took the pack and carried it around on Shelley’s rehab hikes. I’m sure we got a few strange looks. She with her camelback of water (10 lbs…….maybe) and me with my 55 lb pack. The trips were short and the biggest elevation gain was just 600 feet, but we were out there to get Shelley some work, not me. At least I was able to carry the pack on my back for a few hours.
My regular hiking route into the foothills was 15.38 miles (7.69 miles to the top) with an elevation gain of just 2,674 feet at an average speed of about 3 mph and a 60 lb pack. So I was moving quickly. No rest stepping during these training hikes. I’ve been able to get from my front porch to the top of the trail in just under 3 hours. My record was 2:51 minutes. When I added five pounds to my pack to bring it to 60, that time only went to 2:56 minutes. Total round trip time is about 5:20 minutes, not including breaks. The elevation gain wasn’t much over that distance but that is the only thing I was lacking in these hikes. These last two hikes have been pretty hot too. I tried to off set that by leaving around 6:00 am and that worked pretty well for the ascent. That last two hours coming down were pretty warm. Earlier in the spring when it was cooler I stretched out my hikes to 21.14 miles (round trip). Those hikes took just under 8 hours (not including breaks). No way I can do that now when it’s 100 degrees out by 1:00 pm. Summit days can be upwards of 12 hours, if not longer, so those longer hikes are good.
I’ve also been going through my gear and double checking all my equipment. Everything is in order. One thing I learned from Denali (one of the many) was marking your equipment to differentiate it from others’. I’ve been spending some time marking many of my pieces of equipment with tape. Simply writing your name doesn’t work very well since you can’t spot that in low light or snow. But marking it with tape makes it stand out better. I didn’t want to use just one color as that is fairly common and I wanted it to be bright. Here’s an example.
I just need to wait out these next couple weeks. I’ve been following the cybercasts of a couple different climbing groups and I’m getting anxious to get started.