It would be fair to say that we are well and truly in the era of extreme sports – and mountaineering fits perfectly into this category.
While it’s not something that’s open to everyone, more people are taking the time to venture to their nearest mountain (or even climbing center) and take advantage of the new craze.
Of course, this isn’t like kicking a ball around. There are several factors that you need to take into account before you venture on your first mountaineering expedition, in a bid to ensure that you are kept safe and comfortable. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to prepare.
The importance of a GPS tracker
Let’s start by taking a look at one of the most important pieces of equipment you will require along your journey; a GPS tracker. It would be fair to say that this equipment has well and truly transformed the extreme sports industry. Previously, all sorts of dangers were associated with these sports, and while these dangers still exist, the GPS tracker has at least provided an extra layer of safety.
In short, you are going to be climbing in the middle of nowhere. There are no amenities or anything else that can give you that extra security. It’s just going to be you (and hopefully whoever you traveled with).
It means that if something does go wrong you need people to be able to find out exactly where you are as a matter of urgency. The conditions are never ideal in these climbing locations, and this means that time is most definitely of the essence.
We were tempted to label this section as “pack lightly”, but while you should be looking to minimize your load by as much as possible, you also need to make sure you take enough things to survive up there.
The general advice is not to surpass the 30-liter mark. Of course, in addition to your bag, you need tools like an ax, helmet, and some rope – which tend to be hung on the outside of your clothing.
Additionally, don’t automatically think that it’s going to be freezing cold. For example, if you happen to be heading to the Alps in the summer, you might be surprised at just how warm it’s going to be. You don’t need thick winter clothing, as long as your garments are windproof it should suffice nicely. Check out prAna for comfortable hiking gear.
Trust your climbing partners
Something that a lot of people underestimate for their climbs is the partner themselves. This is one of those cases where a healthy relationship is absolutely essential and without it, your safety can be impacted.
You need to know your partner inside out and understand exactly how they communicate. If you are arguing for the entire way up, it’s not going to end well when you are both attempting to scale the tallest part of the mountain.