Foreword

In June 1977, I had. the incredible good fortune to climb in the Alaska Range with two of my personal heroes, Jeff Lowe and George Lowe. Four thousand feet up a new route on the north face of Mount Hunter, Jeff rode abroken cornice for sixty feet, snagged a crampon, and cracked his ankle. Somewhat naive and certainly far less experienced than these titans of the North American alpine climbing scene, 1 viewed this development with considerable alarm, while my more worldly companions seemingly...

Good and Bad Attitudes

A bad attitude or unsettled mind will destroy focus, guaranteeing failure regardless of training and preparation. You must want (or need) to be where you are. Doing one thing with the body and another with the mind is self-defeating. A mind not giving 100 percent is a liability. If you can't pay attention to the climbing or if you don't want to be on the mountain, don't go, A bad attitude for a climber bears little resemblance to the usual meaning of the term. Many climbers complete hard routes...

AniTUDe aND CHanacTeR

Your attitude and emotions act as allies or enemies when attempting a difficult route at the edge of your ability, The best climbers aren't necessarily the fittest or the most skilled. Instead, elite climbers share a passion for climbing combined with the ability to exert then will and to pay attention to both internal and external conditions. Great climbers remake themselves. They pare away impedimenta from life on the ground and cast a new character suited for the...

MURK F m

Cover photographs Front Mark Twight on the Ar te des Cosmiques, Chamonix, France. Photo james Martin. Back Mark Twight on the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France. Photo James Martin Frontispiece Crampons cooling in the Grivel factory in Courmayeur, Italy. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data TWight, Mark, 1961- Extreme alpinism climbing light, fast, and high Mark TWight and James Martin. - 1st ed. 1. Mountaineering. 2. Mountaineering Training. 3. Mountaineering-Psychological...

PsyCHOLOglCaL TRaiNINg

Will, awareness, and understanding all improve through consistent and appropriate psychological training. Although alpinism is more a psychological than a physical challenge, there is no actual separation it is all psychological and all physical at the same time. Nonetheless, the mental aspects of alpinism are fundamental. The mind develops in response to day-to-day life. It answers the demands of living in society, in the low-altitude world. Preparing it to exist and...

PHySICaLTRaiNINg a Foundstion

Mark Twight

Alpine climbers need maximum power from both mind and body. They train the mind to increase awareness and grit, and the body to augment strength and endurance. The goal of physical training for alpine climbing can be summed up in one phrase to make yourself as indestructible as possible. The harder you are to kill, the longer you will last in the mountains. Mountain climbing beats on you with dehydration, inadequate nutrition, debilitating cold, energy- and judgment-sapping high altitude, sleep...

Introduction

Extreme alpinism can mean different things to different climbers. In this book, we define it simply as alpine climbing near one's limits. We use extreme to denote severe, intense, and having serious consequences. To survive in this dangerous environment where ability and difficulty intersect, the climber must visualize the goal and the means to realize it. After training and preparation, the climber tackles the route, moving as swiftly as possible with the least equipment required. For a fully...

Mims

I've retreated from an alarming number of routes during my career. Sometimes 1 fled storms other times technical difficulty defeated me. Often I forgot to eat and drink enough, so my strength fizzled, and along with it my confidence. Sometimes I was scared, plain and simple. I've failed in the hut by realizing, the instant my feet hit the cold floor, that I couldn't do what I wanted to do. The hours sleeping in the wake of a decision like that are some of the most refreshing I've had. And I...

TRaiNINg STReNgTH

All the fitness in the world is valueless In alpinism without strength. Over time, cycles of strength-building programs will provide a grounding of strength and power. Strength is defined as the ability to exert a given amount of force. Power is strength plus speed. Few training books or regimens target alpinism, so climbers train unscientifically, inventing programs based on intuition and hearsay. Among conventional athletic events investigated by quantitative training studies, the decathlon...

Recovery

Set aside time to recover not only physically but psychologically before training again. Let your brain go soft. Watch a lot of television or read trashy spy novels or drink some beer. The shame of the extra fat you'll put on will propel you to train that much harder when you start again. A break from the extreme self-discipline required during training refreshes and prevents burning out and fosters a long and varied alpine climbing career. Time off can also help break the addiction cycle of...