Expedition Mixed/Ice Climbing Training Program


• 8-week, 5 days/week
• Climbing intensive – lots of endurance work from ice tools
• Designed for you to arrive at your expedition locale at top fitness
• This training plan is one of the 182+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.

Product Description

This 8-week training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare experienced, advanced alpine climbers/athletes for multi day/week technical alpine-style, mixed/ice mountaineering expeditions in the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Himalaya, etc.

This is a very intense, progressive program, and assumes athletes advanced enough to plan dangerous alpine mixed/ice climbing expeditions are already very fit. This training methodology is the same we use with our professional mountain guides and sponsored alpine climbers including Patagonia Ambassador Ben Gilmore for his 2010 attempt on Nupste.

Program Goals
– Strengthen your legs and lungs for miles and thousands of vertical feet you’ll be hiking up and down during your climbing trip.
– Build your core/midsection strength and overall strength so your body will be able to perform well with a loaded backpack, and be able to recover from long days in the mountains.
– Train your “sport specific” ice/mixed climbing grip, core and calf strength, work capacity and stamina.

System Board Details
We train your sport specific grip strength by having you hang and do intervals using your ice tools on a system board. The minimum sized system board you’ll need is a 4×8 sheet of plywood set at a 15 degree angle. You can use common rock climbing holds with your tools, and also hardware such as old door hinges, door bolt brackets, eye bolts, etc. We use all.

While one 4×8 sheet of plywood is the minimum you’ll need to complete this program, space and cost allowing, we’d recommend you build up to 4 system boards placed close enough that you can move from one to the other without touching the floor. You’ll be spending hours hanging on your system boards. This is very effective training, but pure drudgery. The more system boards you have the more variety you’ll have for movement … and the training will be more interesting.

If you have more then one system board, we’d recommend differing board angles ranging from 10 degrees to 20 degrees. Email me if you have any questions about system boards:

You’ll also need a pull up bar, door frame, overhead floor or roof joist, eye bolts in the ceiling, etc. to do dead hangs on and Figure 4‘s using your ice tools.

Questions? Email

Required Equipment

- Fully equipped functional fitness gym (barbell, racks, dumbbells, plyo boxes)
- Sandbags. Men will need 60 and 80# sandbags. Women will need 40 and 60# sandbags
- System board for tool intervals. See below

Sample Session

Obj: Base Fitness Strength, Mixed Climbing Work Capacity

Warm up:
3 Rounds
2 min System Board
8x Front Squat @ 45#
8x Weighted Situps @ 25#
Instep stretch Stretch

(1) 5 Rounds
8x Front Squat (65/95#)
40x Step ups
30 Seconds Rest

(3) 5 Rounds
2:30 min min System Board, Constant Movement
1 min Rest

(4)  5 Rounds
10x 1-Leg Calve Raise
6x Ankles to Bar

Obj: Mixed Climbing Stamina, Base Fitness Work Capacity

Warm up:
5 Rounds
6x Figure 4's (total)
6x Goblet Squats @ 16kg
Instep stretch

(1) 7 Minutes Sandbag Getups Reps @ 60/80

*** Rest 3 minutes

(2) 15 Rounds
30 Sec 40-foot Shuttle Sprint

30 Sec Rest

(3) 4 Rounds
6 min System Board
1 Minute Rest

Obj: Base Fitness Stamina

(1) Run 2.5 Miles

(2) 700x Stepups @ 30# pack

(3) Run 2 Miles


Obj: Mixed Climbing Strength, Base Fitness Work Capacity

Warm up:
5 Rounds
9x Figure 4's (total)
9x Goblet Squats @ 12kg
Instep stretch

(1) 10 Rounds
30 Sec Dead Hang
10 Sec Rest

(2) 5 Rounds
4x Mr. Spectacular - increase load until 4x is hard, but doable, then immediately ….
4x Jingle Jangles
Lat + Pec Stretch

(3) 5 Rounds
3:30 System Board, Constant Movement
1 Min Rest