Skiing Mt Blanc
Started by Ranchero_1979 in Ski Chatter - 7 Replies
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So I am booked to ski Mt Blanc in early May. I was wondering if anyone had any tips on training for this. Unfortunately where I live/work has restrictive security so no hill walking.Have been running for a 1hr three times and week, doing 1 day a week of squats/lunges/power kleen/leg extensions etc. Will step the running up to 1 1/2-2hrs one session a week as gets closer but was wondering if there is anything else people recommend. Normally people who have trained in hills do better than gym monkies. Any top tips more than welcome.
Are you remembering your upper body?

Shoulders, arms etc could need a bit of work perhaps?
If you're doing the Vallee Blanche then you're probably fine with your current level of training - but check with your doctor if you're in any doubt, or have / had any fitness issues in the past.

Although some people are affected by the altitude at the top of the Aiguille du Midi (3,842m), most are not and you don't spend a great deal of time at the top anyway. Suffering vertigo on the arrete can be "interesting" but, again, that's over and done with quite quickly.

You lose a fair amount of altitude in the first half hour of skiing and I think you're down below 3,000 metres relatively quickly.

Of course, if you're talking about climbing to the summit and spending some time up there then some specific altitude training might be a good idea...
To clarify am planning on touring up Mt Blanc (summit) and skiing down. Specific altitude training living at sea level could be tough. Guide has planned 9 days with 4 days as summit window.Will be back in Chamonix in March so maybe a few nights in hut would be an idea, although would affect ski plans.
Ranchero_1979 wrote:To clarify am planning on touring up Mt Blanc (summit) and skiing down.

Fantastic - but probably beyond the experience of most of us on here (self included) so you might need some more specialist advice.

How long is your March trip? skiing above the mid-station at the Grands Montets will allow you to stay over 2,000 metres all day - which should help.

Make sure you post a full report here though! Sounds like an epic trip.

Where are you based when not in the mountains? I know there's at least one gym in London (Third Space in Soho) that has an "altitude" chamber so you can do CV training in thin air. Might be something like that near you?
Far Queue
I just had a quick google, and whilst I will not post direct links, I see that it is possible to hire "Altitude Tents" for what I would not call an excessive amount.

Have you considered the use of one of these before you go?

Edit. Doh! Just noticed Adders suggested something similar. However if you hire one, you could sleep in it for a week or so to acclimatise.
Well unfortunately am living in Iraq. That means 6 weeks prior to trip no options for fancy tents or gyms. Someone suggested skipping is best exercise for calf muscles in absence of any hills? Spinning class would be nice for thighs but again not an option. Guess real concern is upping from 1hrs exercise to 12hr+ days. I know from summer climbing this is always a painful i.e. you make it but don't really enjoy. Obviously given aim is to ski back down, super tired legs are not an great idea given the increased risk of injury.
A friend of mine made descent from Mont Blanc on a snowboard couple years ago. I'll see her next weekend and will ask her if any specific trainig required. Also I am not sure whether they heli-ed up or hiked. It's about 5 hrs hike from the last refuge whichever way you choose and to descent on skis you need to start very early to ski down early when snowbridges are still strong. I'm planning to hike Mont Blanc from St Gervais coming August and so far also started running 2-3 times a week to build up endurance at least. I think the main thing though will be whether or not you develop an altitude sickness. I slept in a mountain hut once and didn't feel tired the next day but it was little bit below 3000m and even that this is a positive sight (many people can't sleep at altitude and feel totally broken the next day) I am sure it can be totally different at 4000m and probably it's something you will only find out on a day of your ascent. I am not sure how to prepare and train for this but I'm starting my research. I certainly want to ski from Mt Blanc one day too. I see it every day from my window - would be a shame not to

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