Rock / Ice Climbing

Preparing for Your Rock / Ice Climbing Trip

Training/Practice Exercises

In general rock climbing takes loads of energy. Every climber needs strong stamina, incredible physical strength, and enormous will power. It is not an easy activity by any means and many give up after the first attempt. Many lack the strength to even get more than few feet off the ground. Apart from increasing your muscle mass and just getting in better overall shape there are numerous things you can do to train and prepare for a big climb.

The most logical option is to take a climbing class of some sort. Brief lessons at climbing walls in your local gym or recreation center can give you the basics of climbing in a short period of time. The weather is ideal and you rarely need to worry about natural elements. It’s just straightforward climbing with the safest possible equipment and “rock face.” Many Universities offer reasonably priced elective classes that include a few introductory lectures on climbing, a trip to a climbing wall, and even a short climb on a real rock face.

Climbing schools are the expert’s choice for preparation. Before ascending the world’s highest mountains, a training session that teaches you about safety, altitude, health, technical skills, and fitness in regards to climbing saves lives. Knowing your equipment and how to use it is one of the most important aspects of climbing and a class or lecture can help you learn quickly and efficiently. They will teach you about commonly used knots, which are one of the first and most elemental things to learn in rock climbing. Although every climber has his/her own favorites such as the overhand knot, the figure 8, the water knot, the double fisherman’s knot, and others.

If climbing in high altitudes it is wise to spend a day or two just doing easy walking to acclimatize. Otherwise a day into your trip you might start feeling the effects of altitude sickness - nausea, headaches, and vomiting - which can abruptly cut your climb short.

Gear Requirements/Packing lists

For climbing there is a large assortment of other gear that is necessary and it varies form climb to climb depending on conditions: a sturdy backpack where you can fit all your food and gear as well as some group supplies, a helmet, harness, gloves, climbing shoes, and rope. Sunglasses, or glacier glasses, are incredibly important as well to ward off the intense rays of the sun that reflect off of the snow or ice. Speak with your tour operator beforehand to determine exactly what you will need to bring. Again, every climb is different and you should always consult with an expert or tour operator to determine what you need to bring for every climb.

For ice climbing you need a bit more equipment than regular rock climbing. Apart from Ropes, helmets, and harnesses you will need a decent hiking or mountaineering boot so you can dig in to the ice to retain balance with every step. You will need an ice axe to cut steps and notches into the ice of which you will need to climb. You will need crampons, which are metal boot attachments with spikes coming out of them, so you can walk on the ice and dig into it. You will need ice screws, which are like a rock climbers bolt, that allow you to tie to.

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