Big City Mountaineers

Conditioning Hike or Snow Travel?

This past Saturday 27 of us headed into the Angeles National Forest to hike up to Mt Wilson. This was the Group 4 conditioning hike for the Sierra Club's Wilderness Travel Course. Throughout this 10 week course there are 4 weekend outings, this first of which is the "conditioning hike".  The purpose of the trip is to practice newly learned navigation skills, work on nutrition & hydration while hiking and get used to clothing and gear choices. The round trip loop from Chantry Flats to the top of Mount Wilson always proves to be a challenge at 14+ miles and close to 5ooo' of elevation gain. This year a small winter storm threw a new, but very cool challenge to the mix, SNOW and near freezing temperatures at the top. The "snow travel" outing is usually the 3rd outing for the course, but we got a preview this weekend! This was also a great hike for us to check our fitness level as we are now in serious training mode for our Mt Whitney hike in April with the Big City Mountaineers Summit For Someone program.

For many, this was the first time hiking up to Mount Wilson and we have to say everyone ROCKED this hike. Each person rose to the challenge and did great! We are super excited to head to Joshua Tree National Park with the group for the next round of adventure.

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Hurry! Only a Few Weeks Left for the Chance to WIN While Supporting an Awesome Cause.

What You Should Do! Donate $100 to Big City Mountaineers (BCM) through our Summit For Someone climb with Backpacker Magazine before January 31st and automatically be entered to win great prizes! Click here to donate,

How it Works.

For every $100 you donate to our climb you will name will be thrown in the hat to win some awesome prizes! Already made a donation and didn’t realize that $100 could enter you to get cool prizes? No problem! Donate the additional amount to get to $100 and it will still count. Want to increase you chances to win? Donate $200, $300, or a billion dollars…. totally up to you.

Why Support BCM?

Your donation makes it possible for urban youth to get outdoors and experience the wonder, beauty and challenges of nature. Can you imagine never having seen stars? Some of these kids literally have never experienced nature. Your donation will ensure that someone gets to have this kind of once in a lifetime experience.

What Can You Win?

Companies such as The North Face, The Coleman Company, Diet For Health and others have generously donated great prizes!!! We are super thankful to them all. Here are some of the amazing things you can win!

  • olloclip, the complete lens solution for your iPhone 4 or 5. Fisheye, wide angle and macro all in one lens.
  • Local Los Angeles designer Teresa Rae is donating some of her amazing BOERA jewelry.
  • Diet For Health is offering a 6-week weight loss program valued at over $500! (LA area only)
  • Pet Sitting (LA area only)
  • Haircut with Maureen Blache at Loraine’s Color Bar in Santa Monica (LA area only)
  • One of a kind ceramic art piece by artist Pam Kisor[gallery ids="163,166,165,162,169,167,168,164,160"]

Training Philosophy

As we continue to focus our efforts on the Whitney climb in April with Big City Mountaineers our training has evolved as well. We are again hitting the gym but with a different set of goals, a little more upper body, also focusing more on the hip flexors. Balance and the little muscles in our feet are getting more attention as well. We are also doing more stairmaster than stationary bike as a warm up and cool down, it is important, I have learned and experienced, to remind your muscles of the multidirectional and sport movements you will do after the mostly unidirectional work that is put in with weights.

We are realizing the importance of building up. Our fitness coming away from Ironman was great but it was long moderate efforts. Now we are trying to keep that endurance while giving more focus to some power and speed with hiking and mountaineering specific goals. We are approaching our climbing in the way we approached our other races, periodization training, a series of ramp ups and recoveries building with each to "peak" for a specific event. Also our nutrition is similar to when we run and bike, we use Infinite Nutrition, a custom drink formula, so that we can monitor and experiment with anything from calories, protein, caffeine and many others.

We continue this journey excited to see ourselves change and improve and just as excited to share what is working and not working in our training, diet, and gear with all of you.

3 Reasons to Help Us Support a Great Cause!

We are excited to officially announce that we have been selected by Backpacker Magazine to join one of their teams climbing Mt Whitney this April via the Mountaineers Route. For more details about this adventure and to keep up with our journey getting there, please visit and follow our blog, This adventure is also a fundraiser for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a non-profit dedicated to getting under-served urban youth outdoors and into the mountains for life changing experiences. We are super excited to have the opportunity to combine our love of the outdoors with our desire to support such a great organization. BCM is really changing the lives of these kids by offering them an opportunity learn about the outdoors and gain valuable life skills as a result. Paul and I are asking you to help support BCM and make a difference in a young persons life. As if this wasn't a good enough reason, we have 3 more GREAT reasons for you to donate.

1. By making a donation by DECEMBER 31 you can receive great discounts on gear from great companies such as Kelty, Sierra Designs, adidas Outdoors and Osprey. And these discounts are good for all of 2013! Here are the discounts based on your donation amount:

Basecamp > $50 = 40% discount on Kelty products in 2013 Approach > $100 = 40% discount on Sierra Designs products in 2013 Ascent > $250 = 40% discount on Kelty and Sierra Designs products in 2013 Summit > $500 = 40% discount on Kelty, Sierra Designs and adidas Outdoor products in 2013 Summit + > $750 = 40% discount on Kelty, Sierra Designs, adidas Outdoor and two Osprey products in 2013.

2. In addition to the discounts above. For every $100 you donate by January 31st you will be entered to win one of many cool prizes. Our friends at The North Face have already donated a sleeping bag and daypack to be given away, another artist friend has donated one of her ceramic pieces, we have some free pet sitting to give-away (LA area only on this one) and this is just the start. So donate $100 get your name in once... donate $200 get your name in twice... and so on and so on and so on. Who are we to limit the number of times your name gets put in. :)

3. Worried about your taxes? Here is one more thing you can write off! Your donation will allow BCM to continue to provide programs that have a proven track record of improving integrity, self-esteem, decision-making abilities, and communication skills that keep kids healthy, active, in school, and motivated to strive for success. Go to to make a donation.

Thank you for supporting such an awesome cause.


Climbing for a Great Cause!

A few months ago Paul & I applied to be part of a team, that the editor of Backpacker Magazine was putting together, to climb Mount Whitney via the Mountaineers Route and to fundraise for a great organization, Big City Mountaineers (BCM). We were selected to be a part of the Summit for Someone program, which means that Paul & I will be climbing one of North Americas most sought after peaks to help benefit the at-risk teens BCM serves. We will be attempting to climb Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental US, via the Mountaineers Route April 2013. This will require us to use some of the winter mountaineering and snow travel skills we have been learning over the last couple of years.

Our fundraising goal is $10,000! With your help and our summit attempt, the BCM program will reach over 300 at-risk teens nationwide. We know what a huge impact these kind of experiences have had on our lives and can only imagine that once these kids get out into the mountains, challenging themselves with new skills surrounded by the magnificent beauty around them that their lives will be changed forever.

We hope that you will donate and help make a difference by supporting this worthy cause.

You can follow our training and the trip reports here by signing up to follow us on our new blog,