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Need an opinion on these mountaneering training books


I came across the references to the following books on the mountaneering training:

"Training for the Uphill Athlete: A Manual for Mountain Runners and Ski Mountaineers"
"Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete"
I am coming from the perspective of training mostly on my own, mostly for general hiking/mountaneering and alpine ski touring and potential ski mountaneering. I am wondering on how useful these books for a such an activities.
I am in my early 50s, generally fit (at least a month ago before the lockdown) and healthy, with history of general gym fitness, martial arts, Nordic touring, and some alpine touring.



5 Replies

@Dmitry I'll jump right in here.  First, I am not familiar at all with the volumes you reference, but, if you are starting general mountaineering/hiking activities there is a lot more involved than simply being physically fit, although that is  undeniably important.

I heartily recommend"Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills", eighth edition.  They discuss physical conditioning as well as other important issues.  MFOTH has been the gold standard ever since the first edition appeared, sixty years ago.


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@Dmitry  Hi Dmitry!  I second what @hikermor said, MFOTH, can't go wrong.

still waiting for pictures of your alpine adventures.

REI Member Since 1979

@Dmitry Thanks for posting this question!

While I definitely agree with @hikermor and @Philreedshikes in regards to M:FOTH as the foundational piece of any mountain traveler's library, if you're really looking to dial in your fitness for time in the mountains then the two books you have listed are the a great place to start. While I have not read either of these books, I have attended a couple of lectures by Steve House, and he is an incredible athlete!

I would recommend going with his 'Training for the Uphill Athlete', as that will give you a better overall foundation of fitness for varied pursuits. Unless you have specific alpinism goals, 'Training for the Uphill Athlete' will lay out a detailed plan for you to get the most out of your uphill pursuits.

Hopefully this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Good point!

REI Member Since 1979

Thanks, @Philreedshikes @REI-JohnJ @hikermor 

I do have TFOTH in my library, and yes, there is unanimous opinion of it as a gold standard for the backcountry activities. I am currently gathering information and keep coming across books with intriguing titles, which grab my attention especially if they are offered through specialized distros like

My primary goal, in general, and at least for now, is to be able to travel over large distances over rugged terrain in any season, winter being most challenging and most appealing. Quite possibly my interests will veer as I am getting into the sport more.