Training & Fitness

Superb weather, fantastic alpine and ice climbing, and motoring up Mt Washington all made this MMG climbing sampler another excellent adventure for the starting players of the Peppercom/Cody team. We did miss one player Mark aka Renaissance Man but a new player came off the bench – Sean aka Rookie of the Year did not only join in for the fun Sean crushed it!

Sean started off the weekend with steep grade 3 and 4 ice climbs, learned about 4:30am alpine starts the next day and to complete the game he stayed true by getting the final goal – topping out on Mt Willard in icy cold temperatures with a sharp wind frosting up our faces and numbing our hands.


Sean looking cool, calm and collected on Lower Hitchcock Gully.

Happy Birthday to Sean!


Holster your weapon Sean.


Sean at spring climbing camp – learning quickly about footwork and balance.


Another Mt Washington summit for the team on a beautiful day. The 7th time on top for RepMan

The Team – (left to right) Egyption Stallion, RepMan, Sean Dawg, Eric, The Gale Force, and Crusher Cody.


Repman – contemplating his next move.


Adel leading the team to the top!


On our way to the alpine area Hitchcock, Monkey Wrench and East Slabs of Willard.


Thumbs up – the day just keeps getting better.


Adel on the deck after sending the steep ice climb called the Red Headwall.


Making good time all in sync on the Ammo Trail.


 Mt Willard.


Sean and Chris ready for the action to begin.


Chris sporting the Go Pro – sure would like to see the footage.


A big Thank You to Steve and the Peppercom team for another great game in NH.

Thanks to the MMG Guides Erik Thatcher, Eric Marshall, and Jim Gagne.

Art Mooney

Mooney Mountain Guides!

These great photos are part of our NH guide team. I arranged this day to take a group photo of the guides in their new Ultimate Hoody Jackets from Mammut and as a general information gathering and training session. Missing are a few other guides from NH -Todd from Plymouth, Bob from Portsmouth, Majka, and Mike from the North Conway area and the Vermont guides Derek and Derrek.

Each spring and fall MMG schedules a training session for the guide team. Having all of us in one spot churning up the information is mandatory to have a  group of guides that are on a similar page with MMG info and all the types of mountain training and guiding we do in the field.

You may have thought we get together working frequently but thats not the case. Much of the time the guides are working alone in the field. This goes on all over the country and world in mountain guiding. Frequent get togethers are well needed for quality control. At the same time its surely a fun way to get out with other guides and do what we all love – our passion.

To Climb!

Eric, Phil, Alex, Art, Matt Erik Jim

Eric roping up for Hanging by a Moment.

Phil and Erik off and climbing.

Matt – trying to get one of us to climb his new route Pot Of Mold.


Jim happy on the ice or the mountain!

Phil – the red man.

Jim – the man of many jobs.

Me getting on Pot of Gold – a short steep pillar.

Thank you for all the guides taking their time to get together for this day. I / MMG is very fortunate to have each of you on the MMG team.

Art Mooney

Steve organized the first ice climbing trip this season to NH with Mooney Mountain Guides. On board were Steve, Chris, Mark and Adel. Our goal was to climb new terrain on mountains, on snow and ice climbs and of course have a great adventure in New Hampshires White Mountains.

Mt Lafayette is a tough climb, very similar to Mt Washington in distance and elevation gain. Alex and I joined up with the group at the C Man Inn in Plymouth for a quick bite to eat then we quickly headed out to climb. The trail was in good shape despite the recent wash out so the push was on to the summit. Our start time was a bit late and this was the shortest day of the year but if we kept at a solid pace I figured we could summit and make it to the Woodstock Inn for a Happy Hour treat at the end of the day.

Mt Willard was the second peak. This Cleft route involved climbing on ice, snow, and a bit of bushwhacking to gain the summit view of Crawford Notch. The day was crisp and clear – really felt like winter for the first time of the season. The conditions of the snow and ice was good – the route was in shape for our ascent. Today Alex was climbing with Adel and Steve and I were the other team. We climbed the route in stages keeping some friendly chatter with each other on the ascent. The view from the summit was spectacular, looking down the notch towards Mt Willy and Mt Webster

Kinsman’s Ice was our third objective. It was day three and we were in cruised mode today. The team arrived at the base early – just ahead of the crowds. Alex and I roped up and led the two classic center climbs. The fun was on – steep ice, technical moves, a solid  pumpy completion to our Triple Crown!!!

Lafayette approach – The Bridle Path.

Mark suffering on the way to the summit.

On top – cold and windy – time for face protection and goggles.

Morning approach to Mt Willard.

Snot Rocket ready to go.

Steve in the Cleft of Mt Willard.

Kinsman routes – Alex on lead up high (right) and Steve just over the crux (left).

Great weekend. Plenty of physical activities to get the holidays of to a proper start. Thanks to Steve, Chris, Adel, Mark and MMG Guide Alex for all the fun we had climbing on New Hampshires snowy peaks.

Art Moooney

The parallettes are a very simple training tool that anyone can use to make wicked gnarly strength gains. Made to replicate the parallel bars from gymnastics, parallettes, or “P-Bars” can help you to up your climbing game, increase strength, and dial in your gymnast physique (aka JACKED!).

Made from PVC or wood, P-bars cost very little to make and plans can be found online. The investment will be returned many fold if used properly and will deliver immense strength gains in just about every muscle you own. If used in conjunction with a set of gymnastic rings you will need to warn your loved ones about the Incredible Hulk that you are about to become.

The L-sit is fundamental to gymnastics and gymnastic training. Requiring full body strength this exercise alone “could” make you a stronger climber. Begin by sitting between the P-bars. Space them approximately shoulder width. Grasp the bars in the middle with your thumb in line with the bar resting on top. In this position, you should have a straight wrist. Now wrap your thumb around making sure your wrist stays straight. This is important.
Now press down with straight arms. Engage your triceps, shoulders, and lats as you lift your feet off the floor, bringing your thighs close to your chest. Keep the arms and wrists straight!
If you felt good with the Tucked L-sit, try extending one leg out. Bring the foot back and extend the other foot.
Pretty soon, if not already, you will be able to extend both feet out. Now you can time yourself. How long can I hold this L-sit? 20 seconds is great. 30 seconds is awesome!

 If you are already freakishly strong you may be able to, without touching the ground, bring your feet all the way back here into a Tucked Planche. Notice the shoulders in front of the hands and the rounded back. It is difficult to keep the arms straight while trying a Planche but it should be stressed.  More on this later!

When the L-sit gets stronger a slight variation may be added. The V-sit is a very subtle change in body position that has a very drastic feel. From a solid L-sit raise the straight legs so that the thighs come closer to the chest. This will be felt a lot in the Tricep area and is much harder than the L-sit.

 Part of out workout today involved some tire dragging. In this case Art is dragging an unweighted tire up hill in a long sprint. Strength training can be used in conjunction with various forms of conditioning to train for the rigors of climbing but remember that the two most important sections of a good workout are the warmup and the cool down. Our warmup consisted of rowing, endurance bouldering, pushups, pullups, etc. Our cool downs are usually easy easy  rowing or cycling. Be sure to rest a lot and listen to your body.

Matt Ritter

MMG Guide

For some time I have reached a plateau in climbing. Early in the season I work up to a certain level then do not break through to the higher grades. I have a burning desire to climb at a higher level and have realized that this will not happen unless I Stay On Track with a focused training and fitness workout during the off season and each week through out the year.

They may look small but they work.

Matt and I have designed a current plan that will have us peaking just in time early spring rock climbing. Our focused indoor workouts are for two hours twice a week, in addition we are running and climbing.

Homemade parallettes puts the focus on the core.

No matter how I look at it climbing it requires a high level of fitness. I am scaling vertical or overhanging walls of rock and ice. Climbing requires a very good overall fitness level, including exceptional grip strength, a strong core and last but not least is the cardio which must be included.

Specific movements on this 45 degree angle.

As I look out ahead to the winter ice and spring rock season I am excited. This will be the season to reach new heights climbing exceptional routes with good friends.

Try staying on this for ten minutes.

Stay tuned for updates on Fitness and Training with MMG.

Art Mooney