Getting fit for ski touring

A review of Climbing, training for peak performance by Clyde Soles ISBN-13: 978-1594850981. 2nd edition, published October 2008 by Mountaineers Books

It is the same every year. Despite cycling to work, an occasional run and hill walking every ski season starts with those agonizing first few trips in which I’m left in the tracks of younger and fitter ski buddies. “Getting the rough off” is what we used to call it when I cycle raced. The only problem, every year there seems to be more rough to get off.

Being unfit when ski touring is unpleasant and can be downright dangerous if you push things too far. To descend you need to have some spare capacity. A tired skier is more likely to suffer injuries and fatigue can be a contributory factor to accidents such as falls and avalanches.

There must be a better way to start the season and “Climbing, training for peak performance” a recently published 300 page book by Clyde Soles, seems to offer a solution. Although aimed at climbers the information is largely applicable to ski touring with its strenuous ascents and scrambles as well as other endurance sports.

The book is amazingly detailed and comprehensive. There is extensive information and research on nutrition covering a range of dietary styles. The section on mental focus could be useful to ski mountaineering competitors or skiers making steep or technical descents, or just people who are psyched out by their ski partners. Clyde then gets into the nitty-gritty of getting fit explaining the pros and cons of different branches of cross training (we have to do something in the autumn). He even covers Nordic walking, something that I’m seeing a lot more of in Europe.

As you would expect there is discussion of resistance training in the gym that will interest serious competitors aiming for a Pierra Menta/Patrouille des Glaciers or if you have some particular weaknesses in muscle groups. I also learned what some of the weird gym equipment actually does. The information on altitude is useful for expedition climbers as well as anyone heading to the Alps or Pyrenees where some tours take you to a lung busting 2500+ meters. Flexibility and balance are two crucial areas for ski touring, as is recovery, especially for skiers attempting multi-day tours and these are well treated.

Climbing, training for peak performance is well researched and easy to read. It is a good all-round training manual which assembles a lot of information into a not too long tome. You could develop a specific exercise regime or tune your existing programme. Given that it is aimed at climbers, so some information will be irrelevant for ski touring, it is definitely a book to get if you want to do some of the big day or multi-day tours.

Buy from Amazon

Posted by davidof on Saturday, 03 January, 2009 at 04:01 PM

I bought this book a couple of years ago, and would recommend it highly. It’s definitely made a difference to my fitness and performance in the mountains, and I really appreciated the no-nonsense scientific approach.

Posted by  on  Saturday, 03 January, 2009  at 05:48 PM

Like any endurance sport or activity, Touring is something you get fit for rather than use to get fit!  I have carried many an unfit tourer in my time and they merely add to the problem.  Get fit then tour is my adage, after which I’ll take you where you want to go.

Posted by  on  Sunday, 04 January, 2009  at 10:33 PM

wink Great tips for doing ski and post is too adventurous,great post i really enjoy it ,it’s one of the best post and nice to have it.  rolleyes 

UK Gym

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 19 February, 2013  at 11:34 AM
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