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Mountains, icehole and energy

The idea for this text started with a question about how to prepare physically for the mountains. Further, questions about hardening your body, constant and varied training, swimming in an ice hole and other actions that are not entirely clear to most of my friends were pulled up to the topic.

Mountains, icehole and mountain climbing, article by Alex Trubachev

Some kind of connection was clearly guessed, but in order to formulate all this into a theory – it took a little time. Oddly enough, it was spurred on by orthodox custom of cold water baptism, people drowned in an ice hole, a sudden rise in the quantity of people who fell ill with all sorts of virus bullshit…

Let's figure out what exactly are the body hardening, healthy lifestyle and preparation for complex physical activity – after all, these elements are needed for comfortable travel and climbing in the mountains. I immediately apologize to educated specialists – the text below is unscientific, not confirmed by research and in general – this is my personal point of view on my own subjective experience, to which I have a full personal right. I am ready to accept constructive criticism and continue discussing the issue.

I often say that the human body – it is an accumulator for energy. What is the nature of this energy – that is a separate question. But the principles of the accumulator – even work very well. In order for the battery to be charged faster and more fully – it needs to be drained regularly. And not to the zero level, otherwise you just can die which is stupid, but down to 15-20 percent. And then it is to be fully charged. If these cycles and amplitude are regular, then the power and capacity of the battery will fluctuate and even increase. And from the reverse – if a discharged battery is left without charging for a long time – it will be sluggish, quickly give up the rest of the energy, and after that will charge for a long time and far from complete level. How do you like this analogy?

Mountains, icehole and mountain climbing, article by Alex Trubachev

The specifics of my work is that I spend a lot of time under a very intense physical load. Having accumulated a lot of experience in various situations of different levels of severity, I can say – it's not about our physical strength, not about endurance and not about having special skills – they can help optimize the energy consumption, but they are not related to its coming back and conservation.

I hope you already have understood that I am trying to formulate my idea about some kind of universal energy that is used in all processes of our life. Our immunity also depends on this energy – protection from aggressive external factors, as well as efficiency in any field of our activity. Health, quality and expectancy of our life – are also directly related to the amount of this energy and its regular replenishment. However, from where this energy comes is a mystery to me.

It can be noted that there are factors that stimulate the accumulation of energy:

• positive emotions
• no stress
• regular training (cycles of discharge-recovery of the "battery")
• quality and healthy food
• minimum aggressive environmental external influences

From the reverse – factors responsible for increased energy consumption:

• stress, hatred, negativity
• lack of physical activity
• overweight
• nutrition that does not correspond to the physical activity and characteristics of the body
• alcohol, drugs

So what about bathing in an ice hole and why, in my opinion, ice bathing according to any religious tradition – this is absurd and obscurantism?

Mountains, icehole and mountain climbing, article by Alex Trubachev

Any critical load on the body, be it cold, heat or physical overload – this is a way to quickly spend energy, and the purpose of this action – to prepare our "battery" for the next charge cycle. Those who regularly swim in an ice hole – know this feeling – burning body after ice water. This is the flow of blood to the surface of the skin – the body's reaction to sudden hypothermia. The release of energy is colossal – but it will be good for your health only if your "battery" is well "trained" and ready for such loads. This is achieved by regular exercises. But if you swim once a year for the sake of certain traditions – it has nothing to do with your health.

The fact is that we need energy, among other things, in order to maintain the protective functions of the body, such as immunity. Excessive consumption of energy for anything – leads to the weakening or failure of this protective function. So be careful with an ice hole – the consequences can be very diverse and not always the most pleasant.

As an example – after difficult alpine ascents, many climbers got herpes on their lips (which is a sign of a drop in immunity), as well as an increased risk of any chronic or new diseases, even diseases not directly related to the specifics of the mountain load. I got an experience of some kind of unexpected severe allergy to nobody knows what, each time on the background of physical exhaustion at the end of the climbing season. This is a sign that more energy has been spent than it should have been, and the body has begun to use its “emergency reserve”.

Mountains, icehole and mountain climbing, article by Alex Trubachev

I can tell from my own experience, – the amount of energy and the amount of physical strength – these are completely different things. Many times I have crossed a dangerous line, having enough strength not to stop in time and go beyond the safe energy expenditure.

Here I can tell you my own story of how, having a lot of strength, I almost died from the complete discharge of my "battery" while a speed ascent of Aneto peak in Spain - this is the highest point of the Pyrenees, an uncomplicated peak with an altitude of 3404 meters. It was the end of September, the very end of my mountain guiding season, I was in an excellent physical shape, acclimatized and well trained, behind was more than 40 difficult mountain ascents of the summer season. The nuance was that a few weeks before I had been fairly exhausted by a series of difficult technical climbs. I was running on the Mount Aneto trail, enjoying the great weather and the most beautiful views, the task was to set a personal speed record and gain 2000 m altitude meters from the parking to the summit in the shortest possible time. After gaining 1200 meters in less than 50 minutes, in perfect physical condition, I suddenly had a complete energy dip – my head spinned, I realized that I was going to lose consciousness. The body said – I need sugar, as soon as possible. Fortunately, everything ended well, I reached the top in 1 h 48 min, safely descended back to the parking lot and left for Barça. Since then, I always have a chocolate bar in my pocket.

Горы, прорубь и энергия, статья - А. Трубачёв

So, in the end, I want to complete the lyrics of this text with a few practical tips for those who, unlike the author, prefer to get a painful experience by analyzing other people's mistakes.

1. A variety of workouts and activities expand the energy capacity of our "battery". Do not confuse the "expanding energy capacity" with strength or special skills training – they are different things. If, for example, you are focused on rockclimbing and aim for a certain category or running a marathon in any specific time frame – that would be a completely different training tactic. This tactic is effective for optimizing energy consumption, but it will not be effective for its quality recovery.

2. By the way, even before I had the idea to formulate all this into a theory – I have always advised beginners not to train immediately before serious alpine ascent, just to rest more and accumulate maximum energy.

3. Have an active hobby and do not seek to turn it into a profession – hobby — this is a perfect incentive for regular recharging – take care of your hobbies and recharge from them!

4. Carefully explore the limits of your "battery" – if you increase the intensity of your workouts and strength building, never go beyond comfort and enjoyment. Where professional sports begin – there begins a risk zone for getting sick with something professionally specific.

5. Do not forget the story about the horse that plowed all its life, but did not become a farmer – work is good as long as its fruits bring you joy in the present time, and not in the vague prospect of the future.

6. Do not swim in the cold water, unless you are specially trained for this.

7. Fall in love, be happy with each other, give flowers and gifts) Very stimulating!

Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.