High Altitude Training In The Wind River Mountains

FasterSkierAugust 4, 2005

Eight junior skiers and two coaches from Utah and Wyoming just completed a six day backpacking trip in the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming. Coach Gordon Lange sent us some great photos and a short report.

On July 18th four skiers and one coach from the National Sports Foundation in Park City, Utah teamed up with four skiers and Coach Ali Deines from the Jackson Hole Ski Club of Wyoming for a unique training camp in the Wind River Mountains.

– We were in the mountains for six days with a goal of getting some low level endurance training and a lot of vertical in a beautiful Mountain area. The “hike with a pack climb tell you yak” style of camp is something I have always liked to do and feel that solid fitness gains can be achieved as long as the traditional types of training are in place in the “normal” training weeks.

We set up a base camp about 12 miles in from the trailhead and did daily 6-7 hour hikes and climbs from there. We managed to get up Fremont Peak, which is the third highest peak in the state at 13,755′. None of the climbing was very technical, however this type of hiking would fall into the extreme category due to the length and altitude of some of the hikes.

One of the biggest challenges beside the high altitude was the mosquitoes. At times they would swarm you and it took extreme self control and mental discipline not to go crazy and jump into the nearest lake. All part of “toughing it out” and pushing through the extremes that is needed to be a good cross country skier. We got in close to 40 hours of training and a mountain experience that you take with you for life. Ice cold dips in some of the 33 degree Fahrenheit lakes added to the mountain experience.


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