13 Beginner Tips for First-Time Mountain Climbers

13 Beginner Tips for First-Time Mountain Climbers
The idea of climbing a mountain can be exciting yet intimidating at the same time. You know that there’s a rewarding view and scenery when you get to the top, but you’re worried about the whole process and the climb itself. How do you prepare? What should you expect? Any do’s and don’ts? Don’t fret. We’ve rounded up these important tips for mountain climbing beginners!

Planning the first big climb?

While regular training and sturdy hiking gear are the key necessities for a successful mountain expedition, there are a few important things that beginners are likely to overlook along the way. ​
Check out these beginner tips for climbing mountains, plus advice to help you plan a safe and enjoyable climb.

1. Keep Your Trash With You
Never throw it in the mountains and nearby community! Bring a container like plastic where you can store your trash. Be respectful of the environment and remember that you’re merely a guest in the mountain you’re exploring.

It would be good to keep the 7 Leave No Trace Principles in mind: plan ahead, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of other visitors.

2. Absorb The View
This might sound obvious, but it’s not always possible to enjoy the view when you’re in the middle of a laborious trek.

Stop for a few minutes to admire the magnificence of the mountain. Give your body enough time to soak up nature’s energies. This will leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready to soar to the summit.

3. It’s Not All About The Ascent
You’ve probably been up that hill behind your house countless times, so much so that conquering steeper mounts has become less exhausting than before. But have you mastered the same agility walking downhill?

The first thing that any mountaineering coach will probably tell you is that walking down a mountain is often harder than hiking uphill. Therefore, exhausting the hill program on the tread mill is not enough.

Practising downhill walking for long periods of time is essential. Ideally you should do your training on rough and rocky terrain. This will help you improve your balance and avoid skidding over rocks and grit.

Descending a steep mountain without having done any sort of training may lead to knee injuries and calf strains. It’s always a good idea to identify your body’s weak points and find ways of strengthening them prior to the big day.

4. Listen To Nature’s Music
The wheezing and wooing sound of the wind, the crisp sound of talahib edges brushing against each other, the chirping of birds and rhythm of insects are all part of the experience. In a way, it’s almost therapeutic and helps you leave all your troubles behind for the time being and just appreciate what mother nature has to offer.

5. But you will have endorphins and good memories to last the week
Knowing that you climbed to the top of a mountain is one of the best feelings ever!
Excited to make your first climb? Don’t forget what we’ve said! It might make all the difference

6. Stretch before the climb
Nothing like stretching to get you pumped up and warm up your muscles for the hours of hiking that lies ahead of you! Try doing dynamic stretches instead of static stretches. Dynamic stretches require you to move through the stretches instead of holding them for 10 seconds, which is what you would do in static stretches. Examples of dynamic stretches are alternating knee lift, squat to hip flexor, alternating high kicks, torso twist, and alternating quad stretch.

7. Maintain strength of mind
Climbing a mountain also requires a good dose of psychological strength. It is important to approach the challenge with unyielding determination and optimism. However, once you advance into your trek, it becomes harder to uphold that willpower. As gusts of wind whip your face and you start feeling short of breath, a nagging voice inside your head will be urging you to turn back.

One thing to avoid is the temptation to keep looking up at the giant slopes ahead of you. This can be very disheartening. The least thing you’d want to do is get all anxious over the miles that still need to be covered. Focus instead on your footing and connect with the earth beneath your feet.

Another way of dispelling stress is to concentrate on your breathing. Take deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Let the fresh mountain air cleanse your lungs. Controlled breathing also helps you lower your heart rate.

If you’re with a group, offer your constant support to your team mates. They might need it more than you do. Team spirit plays a vital role in such expeditions.

8. Jog or do cardio before you climb
This is how you can condition your body and build your stamina for the uphill climb. This is really important especially if you don’t usually work out, because you don’t want to shock your body of the exertion it’s to going to go through. Make sure to jog a few times in the weeks leading to your climb.

9. Never underestimate the forces of nature
Mountain climates are known to be very unpredictable. It will be colder than you expect, even in the absence of snow.

While it is understandable that you would want to travel light, items like waterproof trousers and a thick fleece jacket can be life-savers. Despite all the strenuous walking that you’ll be doing, the cold will still creep into your bones.

Freezing temperatures and strong winds are obstacles that only a novice would be unprepared for. Mountain gear is expensive, but if you’re planning to take up trekking as a lifetime hobby, then it’s worth investing in weatherproof clothing.

If you do encounter strong winds as you approach the summit, proceed with caution. One strong gust can easily knock you off your feet. If need be, get down on all fours and scramble your way up.

10. Bring snacks high in carbs and protein
Remember that physical exercise’s main fuel is carbohydrate. You’re going to burn a lot of carbohydrates and fats on your hike, and you can’t lose too much because you’ll run out of energy before the whole thing is over. Focus on keeping your body supplied with enough carbs to optimize your performance. Pack some trail mix, nuts, candies, bread, etc.

11. Take short breaks
At first this might sound like a bad idea. Stopping for a few minutes will make it even harder to continue walking. Try not to collapse on the ground or lean against rocks. It will become very tempting to sit down, but by doing so your toes, or possibly your whole body, will get extremely cold. The only way to beat the freezing temperature is to keep moving.

Having said that, make sure to take short regular breaks as you’re going up. This will help you get acclimatised to the high altitude. Stand still, lift your chest and inhale the fresh mountain air.

If you’re carrying a heavy backpack, give your back and shoulders a few well-deserved breaks. Simply stretch your back and roll your shoulders back and down. And whilst you’re at it, stretch your legs, wriggle your toes, and take the next step forward with a confident smile.

12. Waterproof your things whether rain or shine
Even if it doesn’t rain, you never know if you’re going to run into a puddle or stream that you have to cross, or worse, might slip into. Don’t just protect yourself, protect your things too by using waterproof materials.

13. Pack some munchies
High altitude sickness can lead to a loss of appetite and persistent nausea. Nevertheless, try to snack on something light on your way up. Treat yourself to some chocolate and gum sweets for that much-needed energy boost.

You will most likely feel famished once you start your descent. By the time you get to the summit, your body would have used up a great deal of energy. Remember that going downhill also requires a substantial amount of fuel.

Allot some space in your rucksack for snacks that are high in carbohydrates and nutritional value. These include mixed nuts, dried fruit, crackers, cereal bars and raisins.

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