One of the challenges we face in Manitoba when preparing for a climb is the fact that we have to drive over 1,000 kilometres to find anything that resembles a hill. This makes training difficult, and forces us into some creative ways to recreate our time at altitude. On our last climb to Aconcagua, both David and Adam dragged truck tires behind them in the snow on an adjacent golf course for hours at a time to recreate the effect of altitude on their bodies.
Adam relies heavily on mountain biking and hiking long distances with a heavy pack (especially between business meetings in the back hills of Sydney, Australia) - it isn't uncommon for him to do 100 kilometres in the course of a day of two. Along with regular work in the gym, his experience in endurance racing also provides a great basis for pushing himself to his physical limits. A recent family vacation to the Rockies will have him in tip top shape for our trip.
David spends 6 days a week year-round running and in the gym, trying to get into "mountain shape". On summer weekends, he will also load up his pack and go walkabout in the Lake of the Woods area, which actually has some hilly terrain. A dedicated couch potato, David had his trainer, friend and drill sargent, Syl Lemelin put together a training plan to get him into peak condition four years ago - the results have been astounding as David has put on close to 20 pounds of muscle, "grown" almost an inch, and can run half marathons in a respectable time (thanks Syl!).
This climb only entails two days of carrying gear, which is the most draining aspect of any climb - climbing a 35 degree snow slope with 50 pounds (or more) on your back will test your physical and mental capabilities very quickly!
While this may not be the most difficult climb physically, we are ascending more quickly than any of our previous climbs, so being in top shape will aid in the acclimatization process.
So long as the flu bug stays away from us,we should be ready for the mountain!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain