I'm often asked what training I am doing for going to Everest. Well, from what I have learned from my little experience on climbing 8000 metre peaks is that it is not all about physical fitness but that said you do have to be in good shape.
So to prepare, I do as much running as I can, lots of 10K's, half marathons and run the 2 miler at work at lunch time, always chasing my times. I'm also at the gym as often as I can, doing resistance training and get a game of football in once a week.
The most important thing though, in my opinion, is to be hill fit and getting out on the hills with a heavy pack ( I usually carry the ropes!) is the thing I strive to do as much as possible. Most weekends I try and get a Munro or two in or a couple of winter graded routes. On the big mountains, summit day usually involves climbing through the night and so to feel comfortable with that environment, this year I have also done a few Munro's at night. The weather is not always the best at this time of year but the training still needs to be done and so Sunday saw my friend Colin and I having a bit of a gnarly day in Stob Coire nan Lochan. A cold wet and extremally windy day saw us opt to tackle the sheltered NC Gully (II). With no-one else ahead of us we boosted up the route in 3 quick pitches and then got absoultely slammed by what felt like 80mph gusts as we topped out of the gully. We actually got lifted of our feet at some points as we negotiated our way along the ridge and then dropped in to the sheltered Broad Gully (I) which we down climbed and made a quick retreat to the car.
Unfortunately the camera wasn't working so here's a pic of the last pitch on NC Gully on a better day.