I often say that it is the journey that is most important on these trips and not the destination (the summit). The journey along the way to the summit is usually vastly richer in experience than the barren summit of a cold snow covered mountain. However, this is not to say that the summit is not important. After all that is the ultimate goal.
The main entry ticket to any summit is physical fitness. Mental and emotional elements play a huge role in success, but without the base of physical fitness you won’t even get in the door to try for the top. I have been doing my usual fitness routine, but for this trip I have added a special element.
For the past six weeks I have been using an altitude training system from Altitude Tech www.altitudetech.ca . This system consists of a compressor that regulates the amount of oxygen that flows to a mask, and a sleeping tent.
Every day I workout on the treadmill with the mask. I set the compressor to the altitude I want to train at and the mask delivers oxygen at the same percentage I would experience at that altitude. I also sleep in the tent (I have been relegated to the basement as my wife was not too keen on the sleeping arrangements) at night.
I stated at around 10,000 feet for working out and have slowly gained altitude to 17,0000 feet which is almost the summit of Elbrus. I have been sleeping at around 22,000 feet every night (higher than the summit of Elbrus and equivalent to camp 1 on Everest). The system works because it forces my body to compensate for the low levels of oxygen by building extra red blood cells. These extra cells are then able to carry the necessary oxygen to my heart and muscles. This is the exact same process that happens during real acclimatization on the mountain.
On a short expedition like Elbrus and Kilimanjaro, acclimatization time is limited. Many people get sick, develop severe headaches and fail to summit because their body was not able to acclimatize fast enough. This pre-acclimatization will eliminate many of the acclimatization issues I would normally face and should therefore provide me with a much greater chance of success.
Contact Ka-Yu Law at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more or trying the system for your next challenge.
Wish me luck.
Tags: Altitude Tech, Elbrus, Everest Blog, everest speaker, goal setting, Motivation, Scott Kress Frontier Team Building Summit Training Team Development Leadership Everest, team development, teamwork