Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Elbrus: T minus 3 days--the current state of my bod....

I'm continuing to train for Elbrus, although with an eye to tapering.  Overall, I feel pretty good about my current state of fitness.  Relative to my last two big climbs (Vinson and Aconcagua) I'm about 25 pounds lighter, which of course really makes a difference when you climb.  I've also invested in a consistent dose of weight training and I feel like I'm a bit stronger than in the past--certainly in my upper body.  Aerobically I'm in very good shape and I've done a decent amount of trekking/hiking so I think the necessary work has been done.

Since we were in Utah i haven't been exposed to high altitude so there is some risk there but on this trip, if all goes as planned, we only have two days above 13,000 feet, so I'm hopeful I won't have any altitude induced challenges.

My back, and specifically the compression of the femoral nerve I suffered through on Vinson has been a non-issue for the last 16 months--post-epidural.  Due to the logistics of this climb, the amount of weight I need to haul is relatively modest so with any luck i won't have to contend with that issue on this trip.

Of chief concern is my left knee and the impact it is having especially on my upper calf.  As a climb progresses I lose more and more flexibility in the knee and it becomes quite painful.  It especially presents itself down-climbing or stepping up over larger rocks.  The later shouldn't be quite as big a challenge on Elbrus given that we will mostly climb on snow fields/glaciers.  Coming down is just going to have to be something I muscle through.  The good news is that it seems like my calf/leg recharge overnight so the real physical crux for me will be the 5-6 hours descending post summit.  It will be a real challenge but one which i feel i am capable of over-coming.  Time will tell.

Here is another picture of Elbrus--with the distinctive V of the Pashtukov Rocks visible midway up the rightmost peak:

Finally here is a map of Elbrus' location between the Black and Caspian Seas, with lots of fun countries nearby:

No comments: