As Flatlanders, hiking or climbing in a mountainous environment is just not an option, so we are often forced to enact some unorthodox methods when training for a climb. Each of our climbs has at least one Blog Post dedicated to our training regimens - this trip will be no exception.
However, after reading this post, I think you will agree that our preparations for this trip rank as one of our most creative (and bizarre). Since we are spread out over the globe, please cue the Disney track "It's a small world after all" and we will begin our tour.
Our first stop, Houston, Texas.
Jimmy usually trains in a more conventional fashion, but the massive flooding in the Houston area now has Jimmy tearing up carpet and lifting all of his personal belongings to higher ground. After over a foot of water in his house, Jimmy never thought that swimming would be part of his training plan, but water has become an important part of his daily routine.
In all seriousness, we were glad to hear Jimmy, Regena and their families were safe, and we wish them a quick recovery from the floods that ravaged the Houston area.
Next Stop, Steinbach, Manitoba Canada.
No, it's not a scene out of ET, the Extra Terrestrial, it's a Hypoxia Chamber, or altitude tent. A generator attached to the hose that runs into the tent pumps oxygen depleted air into the tent, which simulates the conditions at altitude. This allows the user to acclimatize to high altitude without going up a mountain!
These tents have been used for over a decade - however, they have seen a marked increase in use by athletes and mountaineers over the past couple of years. One of the most notable clients was Michael Phelps, the 23 time Olympic gold medal swimmer.
David started sleeping in the tent about three weeks ago, and has worked his way up to 16,000 feet. At sea level, the oxygen content in the atmosphere is about 21%, while at David's current altitude, the oxygen content is 11.4%, which is just about half the oxygen. By the time David reaches 22,000 feet just before his trip, the oxygen level will be only 9%.
Besides his regular workout routine, David is using the Hypoxia generator with a mask in his cardio workouts twice a week. He will run on the treadmill at moderate speed for an hour at a time at increasing altitudes to try and acclimatize his body further.
For an interesting look at Hypoxia tents and their usage, click gearjunkie.com/hypoxico-altitude-tents for a great article.