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Month: October 2015

Fully Vertical Kilometer – Race report

There are quite a few Vertical Kilometer races now, but the course at Fully has to be the most iconic. It’s the world record course as well, and as soon as you see it you can understand why. It’s a straight line from bottom to top. No pesky corners or switchbacks, just put you head down and go! The horizontal distance is around 2km, with the average gradient working out at 52% and the steepest part around 60%. That is seriously steep. Poles are encouraged, and this year helmets were also compulsory. The helmet thing is a little annoying,...

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Getting tested – VO2 Max and Lactate Threshold

Last week I drove over the border to Switzerland to get myself tested at the Olympic medical institute in Sion. At the clinique they specialise in Ski Mountaineering athletes and have developed a treadmill test that replicates uphill work. I.e. rather than increasing the speed to get the desired max workout effect, they keep the speed steady and increase the angle instead. After a brief questionnaire and a change into running gear we got straight on with the test. 10km/hr on the flat for 3 minutes, and then an increase of angle (3%) every three minutes after that. Just...

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The super Chamonix classic – Cosmiques Arete

One of the most popular routes in the Chamonix region is the Cosmiques Arete. It’s easy to see why; catch the Aiguille du Midi cable car to 3840m, walk down the spectacular snow arete from the lift station and twenty minutes later your at the start of the route. And guess where it finishes – right back at the lift station amongst the camera-toting tourists desperate to have their photo taken with you. Fame at last. The climbing is a perfect mix of short tricky steps interspersed with easier ground. If it had a trickier descent or was longer...

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Training starts for the winter “Skimo” season

Since the end of the summer guiding season I’ve been getting out putting in some early “base miles” for the upcoming ski season. Training and work wise I tried to take it easy in September, especially after the CCC. No massive days or runs, just out for the fun of it. Since the third week of September I’ve been back on the training, gradually increasing the weekly volume. This year has been a little different, in that I’ve now got a couple of new bikes to train on (before it gets too cold in the valley). I’ve got a...

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Mont Buet training run with Chris

For my first proper run since the CCC, my brother in-law Chris and I were getting acclimatized with a run/hike up Mont Buet at the head of the Chamonix valley. Mont Buet is just over 3000m at the summit, and provides stunning views over the whole range, from Mont Blanc across to the high peaks of the Valais in Switzerland. Unfortunately the cloud was in which prevented us getting any views! We had some fresh snow higher up as well, which made the rocks fairly slippy, but it was a great outing, and good training for Chris who is...

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Summit selfie on the Domes du Miage this morning.
A great trip from the Conscrits Refuge and a ski all the way down to the valley floor.

#skiguide #chamonix #skitour #MtnGuide #verticalfrontiers #britishmountainguides
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