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Six weeks to Mount Rainier. Um, I mean, five.

Sara Lingafelter
Sara Lingafelter
3 min read


Five weeks.

Give or take a day or two.

If I were sticking strictly to my training schedule, this week would hold:

  1. 90 minutes of cross training (aka, rock climbing)
  2. 1 hour of cardio
  3. a 1.5 hour hike with 35 lbs of weight
  4. two rest days
  5. a three hour hike with 35 lbs of weight, and
  6. a nine hour hike with 35 lbs of weight.

That’s, unfortunately, not quite going to happen this week.


I will get in the first four items (#4 is half taken care of today), but a nine hour hike is not going to happen, as much as I’d love for it to. I’m working the Squamish Mountain Festival with Arc’teryx this weekend and am super excited since I’ll hopefully get in my 90 minutes of cross training in the boulder fields, plus a few ascents of the Stawamus Chief trails in the pre-breakfast hours.

Take THAT, crappy hotel workout rooms.

Then it’s off for some additional work travel next Monday through Wednesday. By the time I get home next week, I’ll be playing catch-up on that week’s workout plan:

  1. 90 minutes cross training
  2. 2 hours of cardio
  3. a 1.5 hour hike with 55 lbs of weight
  4. 2 rest days
  5. a 30 minute cardio workout
  6. an 8 hour hike with 55 lbs of weight

Each part of the workout is completely do-able except for the long hikes which I just can’t squeeze into my schedule just yet. I’m feeling good at a 35 pound carry weight… it does slow me down a little, but I feel like I could go all day at that weight.

After this round of travel, I have a couple of weeks where I’ll be fitting in as many long, heavy hikes as I can and still allow proper recovery time. It’s a condensed “peak” period of training, compared to ideal, but my cardio has been good; my knees are holding up to the stair workouts I’ve been doing in the gym while I’ve been on the road for work; and overall, my instinct is that if I can remain uninjured, I’ll be where I need to be, when we hit Camp Muir in …

I get a mix of queasy and excited just thinking about it…

around five-ish weeks.

My fundraising minimum to support Big City Mountaineers has been met, thanks to 88 generous donors who got out their credit cards (many of whom also sent incredible words of support).

Now it’s down to training, and logistics. Thanks to my climbing partners (you girls are amazing) I have a place to stay near Rainier for the days around our climb. I’m trying to make the important decisions and last few purchases for gear, which is more daunting than it seems. Boot shopping is not fun. But, bless Paul at MountainGear who’s given good advice (and to my gear junkie friends who are weighing in as well). I’ll do an update on my gear sitch after the climb.

I’m just so incredibly thankful to be looking forward to the time on the mountain with the group of women I’ll be climbing with. I’m thinking positive thoughts for Candace’s physical therapy and training… and looking forward to a great experience in just fiveish … oh my God … short weeks.

Thanks to Tiffany, one of my beloved climbing partners, for the use of that incredible image above. That’s one of her photographs of Mt. Rainier as seen from Mt. Adams last weekend.

Mount Rainier

Sara Lingafelter

Sara (Grace) Lingafelter takes steps forward and backward toward a right-sized life on a daily basis.