Mountain Climbing for Beginners

Mountain climbing is an intense sport that does more than just give you a total-body workout. Mountain climbing appeals to the senses with its natural beauty, fresh air and sounds of wild life. Those interested in mountain climbing should learn as much as they can about the sport and prepare themselves by getting into shape and obtaining the necessary mountain climbing gear. Above all, remember never to go mountain climbing alone or without somebody who is experienced; you never know what kind of situation you may find yourself in.

Altitude and terrain determine the difficulty of a mountain. Altitude can be deadly because of the physical demands it places on your body. A good example of a mountain which is extremely difficult to climb due to altitude is Mount Everest. Terrain has little to do with how high a mountain is and its difficulty is based on the mountain's steepness as well as obstacles that must be overcome to reach the summit.

As a beginner you may want to select a mountain that is regarded as relatively easy, perhaps not requiring any special equipment. These mountains have walk-up trails, which can be quite difficult but not as life-threatening or technically demanding. Practicing first on walk-up trails can help you to become acclimated with elevated altitudes as well as some of the skills necessary for mountain climbing.

You may also choose to hire a mountain guide, somebody experienced who can teach you the basics of climbing. A mountain guide will teach you the safest way to climb as well as how to react in dangerous situations.

If you do choose to climb a more difficult mountain, make sure you have the necessary equipment. Mountain climbers should have proper boots, crampons (metal spikes that attach to your boots), a climbing harness, rope, a belaying system and an ice axe, to name the basics.

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