Skiing, Alex Honnold, Conrad Anchor discussed on The Rich Roll Podcast


We descended on our skis. Wow. How long did it take you to this end? Four hours. Four hours to about 3000 feet, which if you compare that to skiing like a powdery spine in Alaska, it might take 30 seconds. So big difference in timing and just focus and a big challenge with that face. It's a top of it is over 21,000 feet. And there's not really a way to acclimatize. Once you're on the face, you start at 17,017 1800 and you have to go all the way to the top and you can't really climatized in there. So I mean, you're an endurance athlete. You have to train for this endurance side of things that is really unique because it's very slow paced when you're at that high altitude, but then also your decision making is compromised. Without the oxygen. Yeah. But you trained so you did this with this guy. His name's Jim Morrison, right? Yes. So my significant other. And you guys trained like on Telluride like doing crazy. Right, so I think this was all part of the National Geographic recognition was that we started by training because for me, it's not about training to be an athlete. It's training for exposure and mental state when you're in a tough position. How much I complete my whole life. Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry to step on you. No, that's okay. But I'm interested in how you see it breaking down between how much of this is mental versus physical. Oh, I mean, for this all kind of goes into suffering, it all comes back to suffering, but for me, I like to get into that space where it becomes way more mental than physical and I only do that through kind of intense long and climbing. But obviously, you have to have a high physical level of training and then combine that with the mental side of it. I mean, having kids really has helped train my mentor. My mental fitness, but at some point, the physical fitness, the physicality of climbing only gets you so far. And what really helps me to succeed and maybe others like Alex honnold or Conrad anchor is being able to draw physical strength through mental, toughness. Right. And beyond being a mother, I mean, how do you develop that for yourself? I mean, is that just a matter of putting you into those situations where you're tested? Yeah, it is. I mean, it's really easy for me to put on running shoes and go for a run and keep that physical fitness level. Ride my road bike, go for a mountain bike, but to get that exposure training, I really have to put myself into situations where Telluride is a great place to do this because of these crazy cool wires that are in the mountains there. I can get into a really tight cool wire that rolls to 45° and then you have to pull out ropes and you can't fall or you're going to follow a cliff. You have to really be on every turn. And that to me is where the real training kicks in and plus you're starting to work with all the gear you need harnesses and ropes and gear. For you, it's like even way more. Ridiculous. Let's define our terms here. Okay. There's a lot of mountaineering terms that are well, first of all, like when you first came across my radar, I'm like, wait, what? Like, she does what? I thought like, you know, climbing or mountaineering, Alpine, that's its own little subculture. And then you're even you're into this subculture within a scope of culture. Super key mountaineering and I'm like, what is that even in like, where did this person come from and how does that work? Not only ascending these insane peaks, but you're doing it whiskys and then skiing back down. Right. Yeah. So that complicated thing because I mean, in some ways, I like the skiing part of it because it keeps what you're climbing up to a certain level, because you have to be able to ski down it. So I'm not climbing up el cap carrying skis. That would be interesting. That would be interesting. You know, so it has to be some sort of, I don't know, mountain or objective that, while it has pretty intense Alpine climbing side to it, you still have to be able to ski down it. Right. Or, you know, ski descend. Yeah. How many people are in this little world? Oh my gosh, it's such a small little niche. Yeah. I mean, backcountry skiing or side country skiing, which is when you would go up, mammoth and you would go out back and I don't know if mammoth house back into gates, but go into the side country. Backcountry is where you're just ski touring. There's tons of that in the Sierra mountains. There's tons of that all over the U.S., the Alps, where you put skins on your skis and you walk up something and you ski back down. Ski mountaineering, I define it as something that's more multi day and typically requires travel to some sort of foreign exotic adventurous place. That's not doesn't have to be, but that ski mountaineering and ski mountaineering to me involves crampons, which are the spiky things on your bottom of your boots and ice axes and harnesses and there's a huge climbing aspect to it. Yeah, it's so dynamic because you have to be you have to be so multi disciplinary. Right. And approach. And it's different from Alpine climbing in the sense that a lot of ski mountaineering, even though you're with partners, you're doing all the climbing by soloing, you're not necessarily roped together and that was the case on pups where which was 3000 foot, 50 to 60° basically ice face that you're just soloing. And why do you think you were able to master it this time? Like what happened in 2013, what changed that allowed you to conquer it? Well, the beauty of going back to a second place or going back to a place a second time is you have done all the reconnaissance. And so that was new to me and it really just allowed me to not have to focus so much on the logistical planning and really just focus on the mountain and the peak and having already seen it and knowing what it was all about. There was a third member that went with us, so we were a team of three this time and Chris viggen Shaw. He was with me in 2013. I made a lot of logistical changes in that we went later in the year, so we went this time in May instead of March and we went with just three of us in 2013, there were like 7 of us, which is just too many for a face like that. And we approached differently. So the biggest problem in 2013 was that we only had eyes for one particular route.

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