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Mountain Climbing: So You Want To Be A Mountaineer

you? Alright then. Here are the very basics. Mountaineering is the act of hiking, climbing and camping up mountains. To most of us it is a sport, a hobby. But to those for which mountaineering is like breathing, it is a true profession. You must be athletically fit and have the technical ability for it. One more thing many people don’t realize: you’ve got to have the mental capacity for it. It’s challenging for the mind and the spirit. You need every part of yourself.

There are three typical terrains encompassed by mountaineering. They are snow, glaciers and iceeach requiring its own specific equipment. Snow shoes are very useful for deep snow, such as what you may find in long fields of snow or on inferior slopes of a mountain where snow will pile up. Glaciers pose no problem by themselves. The greatest danger is in the common occurrence of a crevasse while crossing one. These deep chasms are often well hidden from sight by a snowbridge that is often just a few inches thick. A wrong step and it could be all over for you. In glacial travel, a system of ropes is used, binding climbers to each other. If necessary, a crevasse rescue to the rescue! Remember that you’ve only got three basics for glacial gear: crampons, an ice axe and rope. This will also be your basic gear for travelling over ice. If you’re travelling over steep ice, however, you’ll also need ice screws (aka pickets) and an extra axe. Now, if the ice is a vertical wall, you’ll need ice climbing skills to get up there. Be ready for it.