Image of the July 2015 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
July 2015 Issue
Home / Articles / Skills

Conserving energy on winter hills

A steady rhythm can save valuable energy. Photo: Sana Sakano

Andrew Hobman describes how to reduce fatigue on steep hills

The ‘rest step’ is a technique used to settle into a rhythm, ending every step with a micro rest and synchronised breathing. As you place your foot on the next step or rock, stop completely, straighten and fully weight the lower leg, relax and exhale, before stepping up onto the front leg while inhaling and repeat again. The momentary rest refreshes the muscles and reduces fatigue. You might find it helpful to play a tune in your head to match the rhythm of the steps and breathing. - Andrew Hobman is the Mountain Safety Council’s former programme manager for avalanche and alpine safety