How do you prepare for the rigorous physical requirements of high elevation adventure? Strength and endurance are key, but are only part of a more complex equation. How do you prepare for changes in altitude, exposure, diet, etc.? How do you mentally prepare? Learn from others and share what you know about training in advance for outdoor adventures.
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John Harper
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Re: Balance

Post by John Harper » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:45 am

I used to walk home from school years ago, about 5 miles out of town (not uphill both ways during snowstorms!). Started walking on the top of the railroad rails and tried to go as far as I could before losing balance. I really think it helped with surfing, hiking, and overall balance.


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Re: Balance

Post by SSSdave » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:43 pm

Thanks maverick, amusing input enough that I may just try and do that although I don't know squat about yoga. Have thought about taking a class a few times.

Of course as a person that has often traveled over unpleasant terrain off trails over decades, one's balance is of prime value. Take someone otherwise fit that walks along trails fine, out in such places, and they may have a lot of trouble using much more effort than is efficient. Balance is certainly a physical skill that requires repetition to become better at.

During winters I've been an advanced snow skiing enthusiast for decades and in particular am a quite smooth mogul skier that requires constant fast balance adjustments where one's upper body remains relatively quiet while most motion is a result of what goes on below the waist. I use the same kind of balance when moving over small to moderate sized talus and it is not uncommon while moving at a dynamic speed to start losing my balance and then rapidly recapture it during a rapid foot on boulders sequence that happens too fast to do anything more than react automatically to. Much of the time I am day hiking over talus, I am also carrying in my right hand 7 pounds of tripod plus pano head with camera atop, such that balance becomes even more tricky.

Growing up in the Sacramento region, we kids were forever climbing oak trees and like our ancestral monkeys. One becomes really good at calming oneself before making slow concise movement lest one fall and at a minimum suffer serious injuries. That is much the same as with rock climbing though I don't have advanced rock specific skills for such. A week ago when on my fall leaf road trip, I bushwhacked, bashed, clawed, and monkeyed my way up through this stunted twisted clone aspen grove in the foreground, growing atop small to medium talus to reach this rock outcrop for the shot. Doing so one is continually moving like a gymnast. And during spring same thing walking along coastal trails carrying tripod etc where I need to slip gingerly like a dancer past poison oak along use paths.


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