Mt. Logan Frequently Asked Questions
How do I train for climbing Mt. Logan?
The best training for the mountains is in the mountains. Unfortunately, most people who work a regular workweek are limited to evenings, weekends and vacations for exercise. For this reason it is imperative that your training periods be focused, simulating as closely as possible the mountain environment. Run hills, trying to avoid flat asphalt. If no hills are available nearby, get creative. Run stadium stairs or high-rise fire escapes. Whenever possible, get in longer, slower sessions, an hour or more. If you train in the city, get permission to hike up the stairwell of the highest building around. Wear a pack. Time yourself and do as many flights of stairs as possible in an hour's time. Take the elevator down to save your knees. Don't lock yourself into one type of exercise exclusively. Stairmaster devices are a good example. They are easy to cheat on and too specific a motion. Get out on trails, even if it is only on the weekends.
For the six to twelve months prior to your expedition, you will need to be a bit selfish. You must commit to a regular training schedule and increase your efforts gradually, with the goal of peaking just prior to the start of the trip. Keep a training calendar and record your efforts each day. This is a good way to keep yourself honest and to measure your progress week to week. Don't overdo it at the start. You will lose more if you become injured and have to lay off for several weeks. Start off moderately and build up your training gradually. Do not start a new exercise program without first consulting your doctor.
Learn to make the most of your regular training workouts. You must exercise for an hour to an hour and a half at least three times a week, and preferably more. When running, increase your mileage gradually, working up to at least six miles a session on the hilliest terrain available. Work on your speed until you can run hills at a sub-eight minute pace. Keep your training fun and varied. Bike, swim, play basketball or racquet sports. When confined to the gym, fit in several 20 plus minute sessions on the exercise bike, Stairmaster, etc. in between your weight training to keep it as aerobic as possible. Definitely exercise your back, shoulders, chest and arms, but focus on your legs. Get some advice from a trainer or physical therapist and work on exercises to strengthen your quads without injury to your knees. Stronger quads will help to support your knees better in other types of training such as running. Work on your hamstrings and calves too. With any weight training I would recommend working up to 3 sets of 12 or more repetitions. Move up in weight only when you can do 3 full sets in good form.
Hike up hills with a pack whenever possible. Start with 30 pounds and work up to 50 plus. Don't try to run, but do stride. Use ski poles to involve the arms for a more complete workout. Pack your pack with a sleeping bag or some type of filler, then put the heavier weights (like full water bottles) close to your upper back. Take it easy on the downhill. Lighten the load if possible.
Whenever the opportunity arises, camp out in cold weather. Practice with your gear combinations. Figure out how your clothing combinations work together and how to use them to regulate your body temperature as you hike. Practice things like adding pile pants underneath your Gore-Tex pants, while wearing gloves. One hint is to add zipper pulls to all of your zippers. Train in your plastic boots whenever possible and if you have access to snow and snowshoes, train with snowshoes on as well. Learn how to pace yourself over a long day of hiking and start to figure out what your food and water requirements are for a stressful day in the mountains. Learn how your gear works and learn how your body works.
The closer we get to departure date, the more important it is to get out on long, slow distance training sessions with lots of hills. However, don't try to cram all of your training into the last two weeks. Ease off a little, and relax. It is important to arrive at the mountain rested and healthy. Avoid exposure to colds and illness if at all possible. A great way to start the climb exhausted and run down physically is to try to do too much last minute business in the days immediately prior to departure. Wind business down early and spend some time with your family and friends. Your body will thank you and so will your teammates.
What skills do I need?
The climb is not considered highly technical in a mountaineering sense. There is no rock climbing or steep ice. The entire climb involves roped glacier travel even though the lower sections of the route are quite gentle.
Expedition members must have previous glacier experience and be familiar with various snow and ice techniques including: self arrest, cramponing, roped glacier travel, and crevasse rescue systems. Completion of 5-6 day mountaineering training seminar such as the IMG Mt. Rainier Glacier Skills Seminar and Summit Climb or an IMG North Cascades Seminar, or equivalent formal mountaineering instruction is required for team membership. In addition, members must have cold weather camping experience. A previous expedition or extended cold weather trip is strongly recommended.
Participants should be strong intermediate to advanced skiers, but a good solid snowplow will get you down most of the terrain on the mountain. For climbers who can ski but have not done any "off-piste" or backcountry skiing with packs, specific lessons and winter training sessions are highly recommended. IMG will be happy to help set up suitable training with our staff or recommend other programs nearer to you. For those team members who do not have the proper ski expertise, snowshoes will be allowed. A separate rope for snowshoers only will be led by one of the guides.
How do I get there?
What kind of insurance do I need?
We invest in insurance coverage for commercial liability and medical and disability insurance for our employees while participating on our programs. We cannot insure you for your personal needs, but we do expect you to be as fiscally responsible as we are. We require that you insure yourself against potentially expensive difficulties that may arise. First, Trip Cancellation Insurance may provide financial relief should you be forced to withdraw from the program before it even happens. Next, make sure you have adequate Travel Insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip. Medical care and evacuation in remote locations can be expensive. For more information, please see our page on Trip Cancellation and Travel Insurance.
What's included in the trip cost?Cost Includes:
- IMG leadership (the lead guide will be AFMGA certified)
- food (breakfasts and dinners)
- group equipment (tents, ropes, stoves, fuel, sleds, etc.)
- lodging at the Ultima Thule Lodge on our way in and out of the mountain
- Air fare to Anchorage
- bush pilot service round trip from Chitina (an estimated $900)
- ground transportation between Anchorage and Chitina (this will be provided for you by Ultima Thule Outfitters, cost is $115 round trip)
- accommodations and meals while not on the mountain and lunch during the climb (some bulk lunch supplies will be supplied.)