People often think of mountaineering as something that ‘frees the soul’ or ‘offers an escape from the 9-to-5.’ It is not wrong to think that this is correct, but mountaineering is much more than that.
Mountaineering is many things; using an ice ax along with cams and crampons is mountaineering. Hiking up a difficult slope, challenging yourself, pushing your body to its limits and walking on rocky outcrops is also mountaineering. In short, mountaineering is when you try to conquer the heights and reach the summit of a mountain.
Before you get started trying to conquer the Alps or even Mt. Saint Helens, you should focus on getting better. Follow these tips if you’re a beginner.
Know the differences between basic and hard climbs
As earlier described, mountaineering covers a wide range of activities ranging from basic to intermediate. Climbing up a mountain near your town is considered mountaineering, just as trying to conquer the Alps or going on a difficult several-day climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro is. Knowing your limits is the first step towards becoming an expert mountaineer.
Know your equipment
Even on these climbs, all you need are some comfortable shoes. That doesn’t mean you save on the quality, however. Invest in shoes that offer you an adequate amount of safety and comfort. When you buy these, look for shoes that you know will last you for a long time—the kind that, after long years of climbing on difficult slopes, will get you through some more.
Know that anyone can climb
If you think that mountaineering is just for people with the will and determination, you’re not wrong, but climbing is for people who want to try it. It’s also open to people of all ages; adventure-seeking teens, old couples who are strong enough, even whole families with their little ones. Take note to adjust your climb, according to who is with your group.
Know the places to visit every season
There are specific climbs that you can do during the summer if you like—you could visit a ski resort or, if you want, you can go some place warm during the winter. A good mountainous country with a tropical climate can be your destination during the winter, the same as the Alps or somewhere up north is your destination when the weather gets warmer.
Know when to climb
When you find yourself always thinking whether you want to climb or not, chances are that you could have the will and determination needed to conquer a mountain. If you want to find this out for yourself, you could go for a beginner climb. Find an easy slope to conquer, try climbing it, and assess yourself after you’ve managed to ascend all the way to the summit if this is for you.