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Big Mountain Mountaineering 16 Week- HR Based (Formerly 16 Week Big Mountain Training Plan )

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Big Mountain Mountaineering 16 Week- HR Based (Formerly 16 Week Big Mountain Training Plan )


Uphill Athlete

All plans by this Coach
4.58 (106)


16 Weeks

Plan Description

The 16-week Big Mountain Training Plan necessitates considerable effort and commitment. This plan requires base-level fitness as it starts off with over 6 hours of required training per week and culminates in 11 hours per week. Workouts sync to your smartwatch, guiding you through each interval and maintaining the accuracy and efficiency of the workout.

This is the minimum training plan that we recommend for those who have a goal of climbing a high altitude expeditionary peak such as Denali, Aconcagua, Peak Lenin, Cho Oyu, or Everest.

If you commit to this plan, you'll witness incredible improvements in your fitness. Join the ranks of countless mountaineers worldwide who have unlocked their true potential and achieved unparalleled success with this proven training plan. This plan includes strength training for ascending fixed ropes. If you are headed for a climb that involved a lot of fixed rope you will want to include workouts.

The plan starts with an Aerobic Threshold assessment test. From there you will establish the training intensity limit for most of the aerobic base training that will dominate in the overall plan but especially in the first 8 weeks. The first 8 weeks also include a simple, easy-to-apply strength program to develop what is called strength reserve, the ability to repeatedly execute strength-dependent movements such as taking a step while wearing a heavy backpack. The final 8 weeks apply more complex strength training methods.

Whether you use an RPE based or heart rate based training plan, we recommend that you use a chest-strap heart rate monitor and GPS watch to log all your training.

Key Points: 
-Ideal for mid and high-altitude peaks
-Proven success with ascents of Vinson, Denali, Everest and more
-Buy it once, own it forever
-Structured workouts available on your GPS device
-Structured progression of training through transition period, base period, mountaineering-specific period, and taper period
-Mountaineering specific strength workouts
-Mountaineering specific muscular endurance workouts

Send us your success stories! You might also want to visit our free forum at where you will find answers to the most common questions about our training plans. 

Happy Training, 
The Uphill Athlete Team

How it Works

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Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Walk x4
06:35:00 04:00:00
Strength x3
02:23:00 01:30:00
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
06:35:00 04:00:00
02:23:00 01:30:00
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

This plan works best with the following fitness devices:

  • Heart Rate Monitor

All supported devices

Uphill Athlete by Steve House

Uphill Athlete

Uphill Athlete has a strong mission: to inspire and educate mountain athletes through education and celebration. We wrote the books on training for mountain sports. On our website, you'll find a wealth of science-based, mountain-proven resources, including articles, videos, and podcasts. From trail running to climbing Everest, our expertise covers it all.

Uphill Athlete offers coaching, a monthly membership program, training plans, and valuable free resources for learning and enjoyment.

  • This plan includes a Free Basic TrainingPeaks Account.
  • Access your training plan anywhere on the TrainingPeaks mobile and desktop apps.
  • Track your performance with robust data tracking and detailed graphs.
  • Plan for your event in the TrainingPeaks calendar.
  • Track your weight, sleep, hours, fatigue and stress while you train.
  • Completed workouts sync with popular apps like Garmin and Wahoo. Learn More
  • If plan includes Structured Workouts, then planned workouts sync to compatible devices and guide you through workouts in real time. Learn More

Refund Policy

This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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