Steve House mountain training workshop at Chamonix on 19 August
Five questions to American alpinist Steve House who, together with Scott Johnston, will run a Mountain Performance Workshop at St. Gervais close to Chamonix on 19 August 2017.
In mid-August famous American alpinist Steve House will hold a mountain training workshop at St. Gervais close to Chamonix with Scott Johnston, co-author of the acclaimed manual ‘Training for the new alpinism: a manual for the climber as athlete’. Johnston was coach of U.S. National Champions and World Cup Nordic Skiers as well as House's personal trainer and in this seminar Johnston explains how to apply training practices from other endurance sports. We asked House five simple questions about the importance of this "training for the New Alpinism".
Who is this course aimed at and why should they attend it?
The course is for anyone interested in learning how to coach themselves (or others) in mountain sports including climbing, alpinism, high-altitude climbing, ski mountaineering, mountain running, and skimo racing.
Can you provide any examples that underline the success of a course like this?
Many people have used both the book and the course to prepare for big objectives. Mikhail Fomin and Nikita Balabanov for their ascent of the NNW Pillar of Mt. Talung and Stuss Leeds for his ascent of Makalu, to name just two.
This is a theoretical course in a classroom, not in the mountains. What convinced you that this theoretical basis was necessary?
The theoretical basis is the most important thing for understanding training and making decisions about training. This is because of two things: 1) Coaches and exercise scientists understand very well what works. Athletes without this understanding can not make correct decisions about training - how to increase their ability in their sport. I don’t need to show a person how to run uphill for an hour. But I do need to explain to that person why I choose that workout for today, what intensity I do that workout, and how I determine the ideal length of that workout. Those decisions require a understanding of the theory.
You have been mentoring young alpinists and teaching climbing for a number of years. What has this role has given you?
It gives me great satisfaction on a number of levels. First, as a top-climber, I was always very frustrated by people who would say "that’s so amazing!" When I did a climb. Frankly, it’s not amazing, it was a lot of hard work and I prepared very well and very long until I was ready to do something "amazing". This is my way of explaining to the world of mountain sport that everyone can do ‘amazing’, but it takes time, dedication, and either a coach or the knowledge of how to coach yourself, as this course gives.
So what does "new alpinism" represent to you?
In mountain sport there is no end to your progress or your process. We humans are dynamic, and the mountain sports we address in terms of training and preparation are the most powerful forces of change I’ve known in my life. The new alpinism for me represents the embracing of process over achievement. I want to move climbing away from ‘conquest’ and to what I see is the real value, the process of continual improvement, more knowledge, more understanding of our sport but especially of ourselves. I want people to go simply, train smart, and do their sport well; that is the path to self development, self knowledge, and a full life.
To find out more abou the course check out www.uphillathlete.com