Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Secrets of Winter Success

Some one asked me recently what I did as training for winter climbing. Well I can reveal my top secret high tech underground facility. In fact I did my first set of ice axe pull ups for this season last night. It's easy to forget with the run of great weather we're having that first winter snows are probably only 4 or 5 weeks away. The other training tool I've been using is a pair of Mizuno Wave Harrier Fell running shoes but as they are an embarrassing bright yellow we'll skip a photo of them.

Training for winter is relatively simple, you need plenty of puff for the walk in (hence the running), bags of stamina as your average lead of a hard pitch will take 2 or more hours, controlled strength such as lock offs (hence the axe pullups), a wide range of "traditional" techniques (luckily I'm a born thrutcher) and know how to use yer loaf (both in terms of problem solving and keeping going when things are less than perfect). Perhaps I'll do a proper post on mental training at another time.


Steve McEvoy said...


Glad to see you writing a blog. I've been following it a for a while now. I always thought you should write one.

I'd certainly like to read a blog on mental strenght and motivation when thigs get gnarly. Not sure it's something can be learnt but your view would be interesting.

Hope the finger heals. Here's to a white winter,

Steve in Dublin

Jorgen, Gothenburg, Sweden said...

Hi, I just watched "Patagonian Winter" as a part of "Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour" that made a stopover in Gothenburg yesterday. Great film, funny and inspiring! So I just had to go and look up yours and Andy's homepages to, well, just say a simple "thank you"!

We had our first frosted coating on the lawn for the season this morning. Winter's coming... :-)

Ian Parnell said...

Jorgen, glad you liked the film. There are rumours of the first snows up in Scotland too. I'm pretty much booked up for October so won't be joining the early rush for conditions, but at least that will build a good head of steam for November. Axes crossed its going to be a decent one.

Erik said...

the mental part of scottish winter is pretty bipolar - being able to flip between extreme violence and a state of nirvana at any given moment :-)