"Alright now so winter is finally here. You’ve been out to your favorite bit of ice a half dozen times and maybe even gotten in a couple of road trips to places that offer more choices than top roping the piss out of some smear off the road near an overpriced gas station. Hopefully more cold weather climbing is on the books but in the meantime what to do? Oddly enough maybe this is the time to go back for some more laps on that plywood training board also known as the ply-ice board. If you don’t have one, build one or poach laps someone else’s. Some may argue why bother when one could just get the real deal in on the weekend but then again getting a few laps in during the week can’t be all that bad, can’t it? Recently I added a few extra boards on mine in between the nice big chunky ones just to break it up a bit. Now I warm up by hooking all the big wood then break it up by hooking every other narrow board all the while keep a close watch on the feet. Up and down is one lap. The ply-ice is 16’ high so starting with 5 laps is a good warm up. Give it a one minute rest then alternate the thick boards with the not so think ones. My ply-ice has a bit of an unfair advantage in that the top 8’ is slightly over hanging and even though it doesn’t look like much after about 30 minutes you begin to notice it. Does this make a difference once out on the frozen stuff? I built this in my backyard in Idaho then left for work in Europe doing what I could to keep fit for when I returned in January. While I was gone and at my insistence, my buddy Joe got full use of it and when I returned it was pretty apparent it did him no harm. Consequently I did my best to play catch up while I was back and now that I’m back in the UK it’ll hopefully pay off when I get up to Scotland next week. Lesson learned? Just because you’ll be climbing this weekend doesn’t mean you should train a bit this week"
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