Ever been half way through a run or even worse a multi-day hike or alpine mission and realised your watch is going to run out of battery? I certainly have! You might feel a sense of disappointment that you won't know how far you went, or that you can’t share your adventure with friends and family. Or maybe it’ll throw off your training log and make it harder to track your training load and ensure you strike the right balance between training and recovery.
Over the years, I’ve experimented with how to get the most out of various GPS watch batteries when undertaking an activity that is waaaaay too long for my watch to last right the way through in its normal operating settings. Happily, there are a bunch of little tweaks you can make to increase your battery life. This article runs through the ones I have found have the biggest impact.
Mountains teach us powerful lessons. The practical way that I carry these lessons with me is by condensing them into short mottos and mantras that I can quickly pull out to deal with a situation or to re-wire my thinking. I’ve collected these over the last 10+ years of mountain travels, from books, people & conversations, and my own experiences. They deal with challenges of the ego, risk, uncertainty, and self-belief.
As soon as you finish a training session, your body is craving several things: fluids, salts, carbohydrates, and protein. The most convenient way to refuel after a training session is a shake, giving you some time to prepare a more wholesome, fresh and filling meal later. There are some misconceptions about post-workout nutrition, most importantly the ratios and timing of the different macro-nutrients you need after exercise.
Over years of travelling between the alpine and sub-alpine zones, from sea to summit, there are lots of little tricks, or “hacks”, that can make life easier or more efficient. In New Zealand, we have to contend with everything from raging rivers, dense jungle-like bush, steep snowgrass, glaciers and high alpine peaks, sometimes all in one day, and often in inclement weather. The best “hacks” are ones that involve carrying versatile lightweight gear that can be used for multiple applications.
The Showa TEMRES 282 gloves have recently gained something of a cult following. Designed for commercial fishing in Japan, it turns out that many of the demands of mountaineering & fishing cross over – warmth, dexterity & waterproofness. I recently bought a pair and used them for a few alpine routes on 3000m peaks around the Fox Glacier and can confirm: the Showa TEMRES 282s deliver all three. Too good to be true?
Avalanche training is very important for anyone who ventures into the snow. Below are some tips on avalanche transceiver rescue from Wanaka SAR ranger and NZAT veteran advisor, Lionel Clay.
1. Know your transceiver
Practice with your transceiver. Every transceiver works differently. Research your model of transceiver to understand its range, flagging modes and interference with other electronics. Know how long the battery will last and carry spare batteries if necessary.
2. Keep your phone away from your transceiver
When exercising at a high intensity your body needs an easily digestible fuel source - carbohydrates. Even well fat-adapted athletes will still get a high proportion of their energy from carbohydrates during high intensity training. Runners, cyclists and other cardio-focused athletes use energy gels as an easily accessible source of carbohydrate fuel for their training and races. In other words, "carbs are legal dope".
Developing new routes is a highly rewarding and often time consuming activity. Motivations for doing it range from from the personal challenge of opening big lines on unclimbed walls to developing your local crag. Personally I have usually decided to open a new route when I am looking for my own challenge rather than the desire to establish routes for others to climb. I really enjoy the excitement of running it out above my gear on unclimbed terrain, not knowing what's coming next. For me this is the most challenging form of climbing where you can put your skills to the test.
An issue well known to Petzl Nomics (and some other models of ice axe) is the tendency for the heads to loosen and develop movement over time. This is mostly due to the design – the head of the axe is held in by a single rivet. Over time the press fit between the head and the shaft gets looser. As there is only a single rivet the head can rotate around this and the overall effect is a wobbly or moving head.
Nutrition on a mountaineering expedition can make or break the trip. Without the correct type of fuel, you cannot perform your best. In the context of mountaineering, there are 5 main constraints to be consider: weight, convenience, nutrition, shelf-life and taste.