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Steve House's Eiger North Face Training Plan


Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

All plans by this Coach
4.73 (15)


17 Weeks

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Plan Description

This plan is ideal for any big technical alpine climbing route. I originally conceived of and designed this training plan for a climber prepping for a 1-day ascent of the 1938 Route on the Eiger's North Face. It would work very well for any big technical alpine climb from the Moonflower Buttress (aka Bibler-Klewin Route) to the Walker Spur to the 4,500m-long Intégrale de Peuterey on Mont Blanc.

Having climbed the 1938 Route on the Eiger, and many similar routes, I felt I understood the fitness requirements specific to this type of climbing. This plan is designed for a climber who already possesses the technical skills required for such a route, but needs to ensure the aerobic and climbing-specific fitness. This plan will work well for climbers planning 1, 2, or 3 day ascents of the Eiger North Face or any classic big alpine route.

For more technically difficult climbing routes such as the harder climbs on the Eiger or the difficult routes on the Grandes Jorasses, I would recommend that that a climber use this plan supplemented with additional technical-climbing-specific training and extend the plan by repeating weeks 13 and 14 twice each.

This plan includes a four-week transition period and gradually progresses the strength and aerobic work throughout the 16-week period with the last ten days being a taper period. This plan contains consecutive hard weeks of training, but you do not have to be already training to use this plan. That's why the transition period is included

This plan assumes you'll be mixed climbing, using ice tools. It is not designed for hard alpine rock climbing.

Thank you your interest in our training plans and be sure to let us know how the plan works for you.

-Steve House and the entire Uphill Athlete Team

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Other x3
1:44 hrs 2:00 hrs
Strength x3
1:58 hrs 1:20 hrs
Run x3
2:32 hrs 2:15 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Walk x1
2:47 hrs 6:00 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
1:44 hrs 2:00 hrs
1:58 hrs 1:20 hrs
2:32 hrs 2:15 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
2:47 hrs 6:00 hrs

Training Load By Week

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

Uphill Athlete LLC.

What originally inspired us to write Training for the New Alpinism, and what inspires us to continue to share the things we’ve discovered through, is the information void when it comes to specialized training for endurance mountain sports. We have successfully demonstrated a more systematic approach, using proven principles, to help you improve both your chances of achieving your goals, and your long-term fitness and safety in whatever mountain sport you are practicing.

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