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Wilderness Sports > Snow Sports > Snow Sports: Representative Goals and Suitable Training Baselines

Snow Sports: Representative Goals and Suitable Training Baselines

Each program assumes that you have established a baseline of at least two weekly distance sessions of 45 minutes each, two strength sessions of at least 30 minutes each, and a 1-hour hike or ski of 4 to 6 miles with 15 pounds.



Sample Beginner Cross-Country Ski This program is suitable for a person embarking on a goal such as a 5.5-mile flat tour around Keechelus Lake, Washington, that involves traveling along the railroad grade while carrying 20 pounds. To prepare for a beginner cross-country ski trip with minimal gain, include 6 weeks to prepare the hips, lower back, and upper body for such full-body effort. Suitable cardiovascular training options for this program include working on a NordicTrack or an elliptical trainer with arms, in-line skating, roller skiing, trail or treadmill running, and walking with a pack.

Sample Beginner Snowshoe
Hex Mountain (WA) 2002

Sample Intermediate Snowshoe This program is suitable for a person attempting a 10-mile winter snowshoe trip up Mount Pilchuck that involves a 2,900-foot gain with a 25-pound pack. When leaving for such a winter trip, be certain there are no avalanche hazards at the time you go or else choose your route wisely. Suitable cardiovascular training modes are similar to those for hiking and include training on a high-ramp treadmill (8-15 percent grade), an elliptical trainer, a stair-climber, or a StepMill; trail running; climbing stairs or hills; skiing; or snowshoeing. Add 3-5 pounds each conditioning outing until you can carry 25 pounds for several hours a few weeks ahead of your trip.

Sample Advanced Randonee ski This program is suitable for a person preparing for a 1-day ski tour up the 8,365-foot Mt. St. Helens (WA) in April with a gain of 4,500 feet in 10 miles and a pack weight of 30 pounds. The amount of elevation gain in a single day qualifies such a low-angle (<30 degrees) ski as an advanced objective that requires significant endurance and familiarity with snow travel but not a high degree of technical ski skills. Allow 4 months and include cardiovascular training options that range from working on the NordicTrack, elliptical trainer, incline treadmill, stair-climber, StepMill, VersaClimber, or Jacobís Ladder to in-line skating or roller skiing to climbing stairs or hills. Plyometric exercises can be included in lower-body sessions during middle weeks of training.
Mt. St. Helens 2003




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