workout for climbing the nose


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Messages 21 - 40 of total 49 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:14am PT
Start putting 30 pitch days.
Then come do it in a day.
Screw the hauling crap.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Feb 19, 2013 - 10:22am PT
You're right Mark, but climbing the Nose isn't an adventure race or some event where working out.....getting awesomely fit is the key. I knew a guy in Lander who would do sets of pull ups shouting "Walker Spur" with each one. Yep, he was training for the Walker Spur....nope, he didn't climb it because he didn't have the proper skill set. But damn, he was honed and could do a ton of pull ups.
Successful climbing requires good physical conditioning but the emphasis should be on developing climbing skill, and, concerning the Nose, learning the techniques a climb like that requires.
Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Feb 19, 2013 - 11:21am PT
Maybe I'm the only one here who actually subscribes to supertopovideo on youtube, but Chris MacNamara has been posting instructional videos every week for the last couple of months. There's no end to the number of tips and tricks in this game.


Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Feb 19, 2013 - 11:51am PT
^^^ thanks Don, I am going to subscribe to those videos
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Feb 19, 2013 - 01:59pm PT
The thing about El Cap is that people always want to climb it before they are ready. When we were young, and when El Cap was less crowded (late 60s), we could partially get ready by just going part way up. I was 17 when I made my first trip up to the ceiling on the Dihedral 6 or 7 piches up. We used to go up to Sickle ledge pretty frequently it seemed - just for the view. I checked out the West Buttress once with Mike Dent. I even almost wrapped off the end of the rope once coming down from Sickle! I was in awe I suppose, no knots on the end of the rope, when I realized I was 10' past the next rappel bolts.

But damn, he was honed and could do a ton of pull ups.

I did not mean to emphasize the fitness training over the climbing. The pull-ups were alway just supple'mental' and I did not spend that much time with them. When I actually did my 1,000 I simply could not sleep that night so I went out and burned it off. We have all known people that were real pumped up but could not put it all together.

It must have been about the time I did those 1,000 chin-ups that I wrote one of the few poems that I have. It was 2 years earlier when I was 23 that I did my first serious solo atempt of the Dihedral when I was 23. That time I quickly built up to 800 chinups doing the sets of 10 thing. I got iced off that climb. I think I was on Spring Break at school. Anyway, here's the poem;

What is
This strange creature?

It was also at this 'bleacher' period that I showed up at an all-comers track meet and ran a 2:09 half mile. That was pretty exciting, and with just 3 guys in the race. Seems like I took second in that - I remember chasing. Jim Ryan was one of my heros at the time. Much of my training then was also for cross-country ski racing so I had reason to have some upper body strength other than for just climbing.

I hope I have this memory straight, but hanging out at Stoney Point I overheard Don Loria, or maybe it was Ken McNutt relaying it, that Don and Dennis, as part of their North America Wall training did all the 5.6 climbs at Taquitz, the all the 5.7 climbs and so on. I also remember that Don could run a 36 minute 6 mile run. It was exciting being at Stoney Point and hearing that they made it up the NA. I think the way this played out though, was that I learned the other stuff later. The excitement about the NA was palpable that day at Stoney. I don't think I even knew what the NA was at first - but it seemed as though it was a big deal! I remember too that I got into running to Stoney from my home in the Tarzana-Woodland Hills area and that Westridge Mountaineering would not hire me because my plan was to ride my bicycle to Santa Monica to work! Perhaps they were the realistic ones!

Feb 19, 2013 - 03:28pm PT
The first time I did El Cap I had just completed my second Workout From Hell tour. As a result the physical part of climbing The Nose was no issue. One other workout that proved successful for me was to put up a crack machine and do laps. With a crack machine it is easy to calculate footage.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:09pm PT
Schaumburg, IL is in a good spot - less than 3 hours from Baraboo, WI (home of Devil's Lake).
Get out to Devil's Lake and climb dawn to dusk.
Devil's Tower, too.

Get together with the Chicago Mountaineers and find a psyched multipitch and big wall partner!
John Mac

Trad climber
Littleton, CO
Feb 19, 2013 - 05:44pm PT
One of the things I really regret is spending a lot of time doing pullups, etc., rather than just climbing. Work at improving skills and gain strength through time and practice on the rock.

Feb 19, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
The guy mynameismud said he used the crack machine to train.

It's the best training you can use other than crack climbing mileage on real rock terrain.

Forget stupid pullups. They're dumb.

A crack machine if you're in some place like Alabama flatland is 100% the ticket.

The crack machine strengthens your hands correctly to the rigors of crack climbing ......
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:07pm PT
Forget stupid pullups. They're dumb.

Well, they're probably only as dumb as the person doing them. I don't agree that they are a total waste of time but I gave them up after a serious shoulder separation 12 years ago and do just fine without them. I'll agree that the more specific the exercise is, the better. That's why I like to builder. When I cross-country ski raced, I built what amounted to todays Total Fitness machine to simulate double poling. All the dips in the world could not produce what it did, but doing various kinds of dips as second best was not 'dumb'. I have known a few people that wanted to climb El Cap, but just could not seem to get off their ass to do the work.

I attempted to do the Muir Wall in 1990. My friend and partner was going to just follow me and clean, and because he never really knew what it took endurance-wise, even after coaching him, we had to bail after the 7th pitch. It's easy to underestimate what the work really takes. I'm sure if he had done his 'homework' we would have been fine ( I was in Washington and he was in Califirnia while we 'trained' - he was even in Yosemite and got to look at El Cap every day!). It was just 'dumb' for me to go up there with somebody that didn't get it.

As a footnote, my friend had never done a wall but wanted to. It was dumb for me to do what I did, and it became apparent after just the first day. I'm glad I was able to give my friend his El Cap experience though - he died 5 years later, out of the blue, because of an aggressive brain Tumor at the age of 48.

Some Random Guy

In a chair, drinkin' a beer, watchin' the show
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:39pm PT what honnold does

wish I had a crack machine
John Duffield

Mountain climber
New York
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:49pm PT
BITD, I unloaded Boxcars in Torrance. That works. Get union scale too.

Trad climber
Feb 19, 2013 - 07:59pm PT
I never could do more than 7 pullups-never. Going on 67, I've been training pretty hard all winter; since I've got the time and motivated, and can probably squeeze out ten now.

When I did the Nose, in 1971, I was a weak scrawny kid. I still feel the mental "challenge" is more than half the battle, in doing any big wall.
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
Panorama City, California & living in Seattle
Feb 19, 2013 - 08:09pm PT
Tell us more about your experience. El Cap stories are great to hear. Looks like you did it with George Myers......

I was a weak scrawny kid.

Ya, sure! :>)

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 19, 2013 - 08:27pm PT
Training for The Nose:

Focus on climbing/moving efficiently for 12 hours at a time on the rock.

Sleep not more than 2 nights on the route. More than that and it becomes crazy work (man do I know this!) 3+ nights and u'll b hauling a junk show like Hud does nowadays :-) PITA.

If you climb fast for many hours at a time, you will be covering so much stone u will be in shape and you will be a better climber.

bit'er ol' guy

the past
Feb 19, 2013 - 09:32pm PT

Go to the DMV and get in line for 2-3 days.


Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 19, 2013 - 09:34pm PT
Sorta true

Feb 19, 2013 - 09:40pm PT
"3+ nights and u'll b hauling a junk show like Hud does nowadays :-) PITA."

Even as impressive as Hud is, even he didn't take the junk show when he did his recent Nose in a Day. He had a photo of not nearly enough gear and I was thinking, crap, where's the rest of it! LOL! That's just badassed to do, not just at his age, any age. He trained his ass off starting in Feb. for an Sept or Oct ascent well in advance though. Do a search and find that thread, good stuff.

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
Feb 19, 2013 - 09:53pm PT
I know MH is a bad ass...
Nobody taking a shot at Prince Hudon.
We all luv Mark... Mainly because of Peggy, but whatever.

And I still stand by my suggestion

Straight outta Squampton
Feb 19, 2013 - 11:58pm PT
I've never done ten pullups in a row in my life. I hope I don't get in trouble for having climbed the Nose a couple of years ago.

Your biggest asset will be familiarity and confidence in the systems you choose to use, and a general level of good fitness. Ie. Just get outside, or to the gym and ride, run, row, climb, whatever. just get active, shed any pounds you know to be unnecessary, and eat well.

Have fun getting ready for your big adventure!

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