July 15, 2019
7 minutes read

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “mountaineering?” maybe you only picture climbers roped together  making their way to the summit of a big mountain? i know right! Do you think of an ice axe, or maybe a view of snow-covered peaks? let’s look at other activities that are mountaineering related. Mountaineering began as a way to attempt to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains, which has now addressed different aspects of mountains depending on what you chose. It can be over rock, snow or ice or on level ground

International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), is the International Olympic Committee-recognized world governing body for mountaineering and climbing.

let us look at some examples in detail.

Hiking – This activity is not just good but it is also meant for exercise inorder to keep fit. While hiking you can also experience very beautiful nature.

How to prepare for hiking

  • Give yourself time to prepare for hiking, ofcourse you need mental preparation as well as organising yourself on deciding where to do the hiking at depending on your location and also choose the season because some places are mild and hike friendly year round but in other parts the weather and trail condition are only good only during the late spring
  • build the muscle that protects your knees and ankles, you can do a small run or walk just before you start, you can also get a reistance band to strengthen your muscle, standing on a tennis ball or balance disc is great for this too as it builds the small stablizer muscles around the ankle and knee.
  • Do some squats and lunges, you should keep your back straight and and take each squat and lunge slowly to strengthen your core muscles.
  • Push-ups they will help you strengthen your upper body strength and will serve you well on long trips where you need to carry a heavy back pack.
  • Finally, Before a backpacking trip, weight your pack (use 20 lbs. to start) and step up onto a park bench 16 to 18 inches high. Add 5 pounds a week until your pack is as heavy as it will be on your hike. To prepare for an extended, multi-day hike, do this exercise three times a week until you can do 700 steps in less than 30 minutes.

What to carry

The following are the checklist before you leave on that day, don’t be too excited to leave somethings that are very important and instead take with you what you may not need.

  • Hiking bacpack, you don’t need a very big one than the items you carrying to avoid it being very loose and yet not a very small one that you have to struggle to get everything you need.
  • Appropriate clothing based on the weather
  • Hiking boots
  • Plenty of water stored in water bottles
  • Navigation tool like maps, compass, altimeter watch Don’t rely on your phone to give you this option as it may run out of the battery
  • Plenty of food
  • First aid kit
  • Multi tool or Knife
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protector- this include sunglasses, sunscreen,sun protection clothing
  • Emergency shelter
  • Plenty of clothes

Let’s look on different types of hiking,

Hiking in snow

Winter hiking requires more preparation especially when the snowfall is fresh and at an altitude where the snowy conditions are harsh.

Here are some things to consider before going for snow hiking

  • Never go alone, consider a group of friends or family
  • Dress appropriately as well carry enough clothes
  • Your feet is the most important part that require atmost attention, consider lightweight boots
  • Watch the weather, it’s important to already predict teh weather for the next 48 hours and never be afraid to cut your day short or cancel the whole trip if the condition are not favourable
  • Always start the hiking early enough
  • Carry eye protection, you can use sunglasses for winter walking as the snow glare can be dangerous. It will be impossible to keep your eyes open
  • Be wary of natural hazards, like for instance frozen rivers can be dangerous
  • Learn how to use an ice axe
  • Learn how to ascend and descend in snow
  • Know when to use crampons and snow shoes

in order to choose a good ice axe consider the following

  • How long shoud an ice axe be, the trick to figure out which length axe you need for mountaineering is to stand up straight and hold the axe by its head, if the spike falls below the ankle then the axe is too long it should be somehwrere between the bottom half of your calf and the top of your ankle
  • Does the pick curve matter? the answer is yes, there are three types of pick curve, the classic , reverse and neutral however the majority of the ice axe tools use classic or reverse which is also called positive curve
  • Do you need a leash. Leashes provide extra security and contribute to a climber’s peace of mind.It prevents you from losing your ice axe or ice tool in the event of the fall
  • What happens if the pick breaks, don’t panic.Occasionally teh pick of ice tools may break, since many tools these days feature modular heads it s easy to remove the broken pick and later replace witha new one. It may be even wise to pack along an extra pick or two just in case

Other type of hiking can be Easy walk for nature trail, moderate hikes,challenging hikes, multi day hikes. Most rules for hiking buy each other and the fact remains it can be fun if you follow the do’s and don’ts correctly and don’t be ignorant .

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