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I've long operated under the assumption that lighter is better, both for the gear on my back and the junk in my trunk. Rippetoe has me re-thinking that. Climbing and mountaineering are not weight-class sports. If you increase your bodyweight 20 percent and your strength 100 percent, your strength to weight ratio is going up. Way up. I'm not sure how this would apply to competitive rock climbing, which I don't do. Mountaineering is more my thing, and it has a major endurance component, but Rippetoe would say that you need to be strong first, because having high endurance at a low strength level is not that useful. My last trip up Denali I just felt like I was dragging ass (like I said, well into my forties), and I just didn't have that much weight left to cut either off my ass or my ruck. I started looking into increasing endurance and after much research bought into Rippetoe's logic of strong first. We're just getting snowpack in the Chugach here, so I'll have ample opportunity to test this soon and will report back. In the meantime it's been a fun experiment, even if I've had to get a bunch of new shirts!

> My starting bodyweight was 175lbs, with about 14 percent bodyfat. I'm now almost 200 pounds at about 18 percent bodyfat.

That sounds pretty catastrophic for a climber, surely?

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