Are you interested in adventure and the great outdoors? Do you like to push yourself and enjoy the rewarding feeling that comes along with it? Mountain climbing is one of the most exciting and exhilarating activities. Imagine traveling to a tangible goal of a snow capped, cloud shrouded mountain looming in the distance.
You can’t learn climbing by reading books or by trial and error. It is a risky sport and that risk increases if you don’t know what you’re doing. While becoming an expert can take years, you can learn the basics and with a little experience you can enjoy this magnificent sport. There are some basics that will be required before you start off.
First off, you must be physically fit and able to endure extreme exercise. This doesn’t’ mean you have to be a marathon runner but you should have enough muscle development in your arms and legs to carry your body weight long distances.
You must learn about the gear that is involved with climbing. It includes ropes, harnesses, belay devices, protection gear and much more. Knowing all their functions, how to use them, and practicing with them is critical.
Unless you’ve been in the boy scouts or the Navy, you’d be surprised at how many different kinds of knot there are. In climbing you’ll need to learn several different methods. Each type of knot serves a different function; some provide slack and allow movement while others will hold your weight.
You also need to know what to wear. If you’ve taken a hike in the woods you’ve probably just worn sensible shoes and layered clothing but climbing is much different. Temperatures are much more extreme when you’re climbing to high altitudes. You may start off in warm weather and end up in sub zero temperatures.
Injuries are more common in climbing then other activities due to the nature of the sport. You’ll need to know how to administer first aid; some minor but some more advanced since there won’t be medical help on the mountain. There is the common risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) which is an altitude sickness and frostbite. Both of these are serious but can be avoided or cured with some training.
You’ll need to “learn the mountain”. This is a common phrase in climbing and it refers to studying the weather conditions and patterns of possible disasters such as when avalanches generally occur. Two climbs may be of the same altitude but they could be very different for a climber so it’s necessary to do your homework and “know the mountain”.
Climbing is an exciting a rewarding sport but it’s not something to rush in to or take lightly. Take a class and practice your techniques before embarking on a climb.