January 13, 2016

Mountaineering 101: A Guide

There are very many ways by which one can possibly do climbing. Wall climbing, rock climbing, top-roping or doing athletic moves in a gym are a few climbing activities. Off the path to reach mountain peaks like mountaineering is another fun way of climbing activity.

Mountaineering may be as short as a day outing or as long as a month long trip or a several month trek. What adds to the excitement of this breath taking adventure is river crossing, technical climbing and many more. Climbing volcanoes may only take a day or more depending on the height of the volcanic cone but may require a lot of physical preparation and technical knowledge. Knot tying, rope handling, rappelling, ravine and rock rescue skills are basic safety mountaineering requirements.

mountaineering-chamonix-01Photo source: http://www.mountain-lifestyle.com

If you’re planning on going on such adventure, be sure to remember these basic preparation guides.

Physical
It is important to take note that when planning to go mountaineering, one must equipped oneself with the proper necessary gears like best tactical flashlight, tents and other gears needed for the adventure. One must also take note that your physical health should be in good condition for the trip to be more enjoyable. Make sure your cardiovascular system is in good shape by doing exercises like biking, running, and swimming. Muscle building exercises especially those enhancing the upper and lower extremities are necessary preparation. Stair climbing and weight lifting are very useful activities to prepare the legs for climbing and the arms for carrying heavy loads respectively. Doing these preparations on longer period of time will improve one’s endurance.

Mental
Mountaineering is far greater than ordinary climbing activity or any athletic sports which may focus more on the physical preparation. It involves a firm commitment of effort, time and energy to complete the journey. One must also bear in mind that mountaineering involves risks, difficulties, and great challenges. Thus, making this activity is not for everyone’s luxury.

The satisfaction of being able to reach the mountain summit can be phenomenal. Imagine a dark sky filled with stars in a vast universe or the sound of silence as you tread through the route up into the mountain peak listening to the steady beating of your heart. These are but a few of the precious moments experienced by mountaineers.

Aonach_eagachPhoto source: http://www.aberdeenmc.co.uk/

When you’re ready, mind and body, know that there are several ways you can enjoy mountaineering.

With a Guide
Like any other adventure having the service of a guide is very helpful, especially if you are new to a particular hobby. Guides can be very useful in giving you tips to learn basic skills in mountaineering.

On Your Own
You can be on his own mountaineering without the help of a guide if you are very adventurous. The experience may give so much thrill and a sense of deep fulfillment. However, before you will take the risk of going mountaineering by yourself it is advisable that you attend trainings provided by some hobby clubs, schools and organizations to ensure one’s safety. These are a few of the skills which you need to master through training:

  • Using an Ice Axe– is a basic skill one must learn for mountaineering. You need to know how to plant the shaft of an axe into the snow to help prevent falling.
  • Rope Glacier Travel– using an axe becomes more important when one crosses a glacier to prevent from falling. You need to be alert to the others in your team and be prepared to help should one of the members slip.
  • Crevasses and Whiteouts– are cracks in a rock where melted snow collects and eventually become a jumbled ice. Altimeter and compass are requirements for mountaineering, too.
  • Crevasse Rescue– one has to be skilled to rescue a companion who may accidentally fall into a crevasse.

Other things you need to consider about mountaineering includes:

Altitude
There is a certain altitude that a human body can tolerate. The higher the altitude the lesser is the oxygen supply. It is better for one who is contemplating to go mountaineering to seek the advice of a professional medical practitioner for one’s health safety.

Permits
With the increasing popularity of mountaineering, some peaks now become crowded so permits are necessary to regulate the influx of mountaineers.

Best Tactical Flashlight
The best companion during dark nights and places. This will help find one who gets lost accidentally.

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