A mountain guide is one of the more challenging roles on the planet. Yes, from the many pictures posted and life in the mountains it holds its owns personal pleasure of enjoyment. Yet they are working with people daily who often are focused solely on their own selfish desires to reach the summit of the mountain. For this, they deserve our gratitude and respect. Now, let's work to begin changing this issue.
Below you see a list of some of the complaints voiced from mountain guides over the years and continue to do so behind the scenes and only when asked specifically to the challenges they experience with clients. These are directly related to physical and mental preparation while many others could be added but are laughable and inexcusable. We need to be diligent and respectful in preparing ourselves to meet what mountain guides hope from us and possibly would like to expect from us.
Basically, clients are way under prepared for the endeavor. Knowing these are regular issues and becoming more prevalent, lets take the step forward as their customers into being a higher level of climbers by preparing our bodies and our minds for how embarking on a journey up a mountain should be experienced.
The first step is to determine your current condition through a strategically designed assessment mimicking what could be experienced on the mountain and route you have chosen. From the information, create a training plan to continue to improve conditioning while strengthening any weakness in the motor system and skill set. Reassess every 8 weeks to be sure your training plan is progressing the way you project.
If we can take on this role to make the mountain guide role a better experience, we all have the opportunity to experience life up high and greater moments. We also feel the benefit of elated mountain guides who are no longer disappointed in their work experience.
The goals of our programming:
First we must ask, "What is fitness?" Here are some definitions taken from various dictionaries. Since fitness is a state or quality of being fit, then we must define what does it mean to be fit? Here are a few definitions of fit:
•Adapted to an end or design
•Adapted to the environment so as to be capable of surviving
•Put into a suitable state: made ready
•Being in such a state as to be ready or seem to be ready to do or suffer something
•Sound physically and mentally
Now, let's take a look at the definition of a mountain. Mountains are defined as Large land forms stretching above surrounding land in limited areas, typically forming peaks and varying weather conditions.
So having mountain fitness would be defined as follows:
The ability to adapt to mountain environments so as to be capable of a high state of human performance and efficiency.
At Mountain Fitness Research, we then investigate or experiment aiming at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws (according to Merriam-Webster) in the ability to adapt to mountain environments so as to be capable of a high state of human performance and efficiency.