62 Days Left Until Departure!
The reality is setting in. We’re going to Africa!!!!! And we’re gonna climb a really BIG mountain!!!! Those are the thoughts that cycle through my head pretty regularly these days. It’s no longer a trip far off in the distance. With 62 days left until departure, it’s safe to say that its fine time to kick our training into full gear. We hired an awesome trainer to help us get as ready as we can – Brad Patke with Texas Family Fitness. He developed a challenging plyometrics routine for us that works every muscle in our bodies. This once a week training is combined with 2 days of strength training and most days of some type of cardio like running and Precor AMT (adaptive motion trainer) throughout the week. We’re feeling good!
For those of you who don’t know what plyometrics is, you are not alone. As I researched this exercise, I learned that we really aren’t doing the true plyometrics that was originally coined by a former US Olympic long distance runner named Fred Wilt and created by Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky. It looks like what most people refer to as plyometrics is really a varying combination of exercises that use your own body or low weights to build strength, agility and stamina. That’s basically what we’re doing.
Our awesome expedition leader, Jeff Evans, has decided to take us up the most challenging route. He believes our group can do it. It’s the Western Breach, and yes, it’s the route that killed 3 climbers back in 2006. The route was shut down for awhile, but is back up again. Jeff tells us that the route is very safe, is more fun and much less travelled. But it will take some Class 3 and Class 4 scrambles to get up that way. Although I am very nervous, I trust our guide. If you check out the experience of Jeff Evans, you would trust him, too. His best friend is blind and he helped him summit Mount Everest.
We recently read up on an American climber’s very detailed experience up the Western Breach in 2010 on his blog entitled, “It’s in Africa You Know.” Check out his climb account, especially Days 7 and 8. Those were the two days that inspired me to ramp up my physical training exercises! Although at the end of the day, altitude may be the thing that keeps me from summiting. They say that the physical training can help reduce AMS (acute mountain sickness) somewhat, but genetics is a big contributor as well. There are plenty of well-trained people that hit a wall at a certain altitude. So we do what we can to train and then get up there and see how our bodies do!
It’s about time to play in the mountains. We leave July 3rd to do a couple climbs in the Denver area. We look forward to posting a trip report and pictures when we return. Stay tuned!