While we are aware that each of our physical needs are unique to each climber,
I am going to brush on some general helpful fitness tips for an average healthy
Mount Rainier has a summit of 14,411 feet. Clinical studies have shown that at
an altitude of 14,000 feet, 0.5 percent of adults and 8 percent of children
under age 16 will suffer from pulmonary edema. Males and females are equally
Adjustments To Altitude by Larry Olsen & Andy Perala. W.M. Keck Observatory.
Edema is when the lungs fill up with fluid while adapting to high altitude. By
using a guide, learning the symptoms of edema and other altitude sickness, and
taking your time up the mountain, you may avoid this trouble.
PlanetFear.com has some useful exercise tips to physically prepare you for a
Mount Rainier climb. It is recommended that you begin training at least three
months in advance. Please plan for rest every couple of weeks for the most
productive training. There is no need to over do it.
Begin by stretching. Stretch your fingers, elbows, and shoulders, because they
will be holding ropes and pounding ice axes into the ice above 6500 feet.
Stretch your back, groin, legs, and ankles to avoid injury during your training
and your climb. Protect your neck by gently rotating it clockwise, and counter
clock wise, as well as side to side and up and down.
High Performance Climbing Coaching Words by Neil Gresham. PlanetFear.com
In climbing Mt. Rainier, you need to strengthen your arms. This aids in
effective belaying, ice axe skills, and rappelling. Pull-ups are your best bet
here. You may find it useful to set your arms at different heights, as the
mountainous terrain of Mt. Rainier is anything but level.
It is also great to strengthen your shoulders for raising the ice axe and your
wrists and forearms for digging the axe into the ice. Wrist curls and dumbbell
triceps extensions will work wonders for your upper body.
High Performance Climbing Coaching: Training for ice and mixed routes By Neil
Gresham. Planet Fear.com
A great way to condition your legs for the climb is by doing some light squats.
The intent is to strengthen your legs and improve your endurance on the
mountain, not to bulk up with heavy weight. Bulking up could actually harm you
on the mountain so be sure to rest between all these exercises. Working your
glutes and calves are essential in strengthening your lower body. Lunges, stair
climbing, and leg presses all work fine for your needs.
Another important physical preparation is to prepare your lungs for long hikes
at high altitude. Cardio vascular exercises include running, walking, yoga,
martial arts, swimming, gymnastics, and dance are great cardio workouts.
High Performance Climbing Coaching By Neil Gresham. planetFear.com
If you would like to pay for a class to guide you to the top of Mount Rainier,
you may contact:
Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.
P.O. Box Q
Ashford, WA 98304
Additional Website that may interest you:
Mount Rainier National Park Hiking Page
Search Terms Used:
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I hope this helps begin your journey to a great destination, Mount Rainier!