Thursday, May 26, 2011

33 days to go - Getting anxious

Training is progressing very well, I am basically ready. I have all the items required in my check list with exception of a few thick plastic bags and a compression sack. All the rest is already at home and ready to be packed. Here some pictures of the latest gear.

33 days from departure and I still don't have my VISA. The process of getting a VISA has been really interesting and I will book my 3rd appointment with Chinese officials. I must admit I begin to get a big anxious about the whole thing. I cannot say much more at this point in time - until I (hopefully) will get my VISA stamped on the passport. Will keep you posted!

Super warm Black Diamond mitts (-30C)

Liner for sleeping bag adding 11C

19mm ice screw (just in case)

New spare crampons

Tempered front point, for hard ice

Monday, May 16, 2011

Good news from Everest

In January 2011 I went to NZ for a training session. Planning to go back to January 2012 to train again on Mt Cook. These guys have just summit Everest "Adventure Consultant guide Dean Staples just called from the summit of Everest. He was sitting up there with Paul Hameister from Australia who had dreamed of this moment".

Well done guys !

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hard work

You know you have had a workout when holding the phone hurt. I have nothing left after the most intense 60 minutes of weights training ever, but at least I have completed the session. Bring it on, looking forward to tomorrow.50 days to go!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

51 days to go

Today is all about the gear. Just placed an order for the following pieces:

Black Diamond Cyborg Pro Size One Size
Black Diamond Express Ice Screw 10 cm to 22 cm Size 19
Black Diamond Absolute Mitt 10/11
Black Diamond Powder Baskets
Sea to Summit Reactor Compact Plus Thermolite® Liner

Pictures will follow as soon as the pack is delivered! It hurts the budget but I love it!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

So much for my recovery run

The coach planned to have a recovery run, only 9km, to run at a slow pace (@5m30s/km). Went out to the TAN and my legs were initially sore, and heavy. Obviously I have been working on weights and steps/stairs and while I am getting stronger, I am losing some flexibility and speed.

2km into the run I saw someone in front of me running at a good pace, in good style and I decided to follow him. As I was getting closer I realised his pace was increasing and it was obvious that he had finished his warm up and he was now pushing hard. Suddenly we were running at 3m48s/km, passing through hundreds of walkers, joggers and runners who daily meet at the TAN. As he saw me running beside me, he stepped it up a notch, and I decided to stick with him. We were now running at 3m32s/km. "So much for my recovery session" I thought while hanging in there and I knew already that the coach would have not been happy at all with me.

I must admit it felt good to run side by side at that pace. He stopped on top of Andersen Street, I was left with two more km to go and decided to run them at 4m30sec and by that stage, 4m30s seemed like a very slow and relaxing pace.

Today I'll run a 15% incline for 45minutes, possibly covering 1000m rise which is more than my normal day on Mustagata. I will also complete my usual routine on leg press, shoulder, lower back, chest press, push-ups, chin-ups and forearms. Total workout is about 1h45min, 2100kcal and lot of pain!

Monday, May 2, 2011

58 days to go - Stepping up prep

There are only 58 days to go, but the next four weeks will be the longest. The last month will be about securing my Chinese VISA, buying the last few gear that I am still missing and time will fly.

Now it's the time of working hard, every day, pushing as much as I can. It has been confirmed that my partner will not join me and that has put a bit of pressure on me as I will be joining 3 other climbers directly in Kashgar, China. I will have to trust my instinct and determine how much I wish to rely on new partners. Ideally, the answer should be "don't rely on them".

Since yesterday, I have entered Phase 3 (out of 4) of my preparation, which means an increased workload on my quads: working on weights session, squads and the evil stepper machine which is clocking 300 floors of stairs in 30 minutes, at L19 (average of 10 floors of stairs in 1 minute). My legs and my lower back are pretty sore, but today is rest day and hopefully will recover fast. Possibly will go for a gentle swim to help the recovery process. Also working hard on core muscles, abds and lumbars in particular and then shoulders and back to help supporting the backpack.

In addition, I have made arrangements for the hotel in Kashgar. It's called Seman Hotel and used to be a Russin Embassy about 30 years ago. Reviews are mixed, but my benchmark is a cold tend in the middle of a glacier, with no runnign water and no toilette, so this place will be fine. I have attached a few pictures just to give you an idea of what we're talking about, certainly mountaineering is not loved because it's a comfortable sport, but in my view (call me crazy) the trip and these sort of placess are part of the experience.

Thank you so much for all your support and please keep following my progress.