For centuries, man has looked at mountains and seen them as a challenge that can and should be conquered, rather than an unsurmountable task that should be avoided. If you are looking at taking on the challenge of scaling a mountain, this is not something you can’t do without preparation. Which makes sense, seeing as some mountains take more than one day to complete their journey to the top.
Just as you wouldn’t go on holiday without making sure you had luggage with all the right clothing, tools, and accessories, you shouldn’t consider taking a trip up to the summit of a mountain without the right plans in place.
Research and Learn About The Route to The Summit
First things first, you need to learn as much as you can about the particular mountain you are going to attempt to climb. How long does it take to get to basecamp? The reason we suggest you consider this question is mountains like Mount Everest, the trip to the starting point of the mountain trip is actually quite a journey in itself.
You also want to make sure you know what route to the top of the mountain is safest and best for your experience and ability, as often, mountains have more than one way to the summit.
Do You Need a Local Guide?
Another important way to prepare for your trip is to find out if you will need a local guide to help you get to the top. If it is a wilder area, there may be fewer signposts and if it is a really big mountain, there is every chance you could get lost, which could put you in a perilous situation. With summits like Mount Everest and K2, you can hire Sherpas and local guides who will accompany you to the top.
When is the Best Time to Attempt to Climb the Mountain?
Most crucially, after you have determined the route you are going to take and whether you will need a local or not before you start organizing your bags and deciding which gear and clothing you are going to take, you need to figure out when the best time to attempt the climb will be. Depending on which mountain you are attempting to climb, there may be times of the year when you aren’t even allowed to attempt to climb, and times of the year more favorable weather and climate-wise than others.
Organize Your Bags and Gear
Next, you need to work out what you are going to take with you for your trip. It obviously makes sense to pack as lightly as you can, as you will undoubtedly be carrying whatever you take along. That doesn’t mean you should not skimp on essential clothes and accessories. Dress according to the weather, but keep in mind even if you are in a hot country for your mountain trip, the weather on the mountain and the temperature may not be quite as warm, particularly as you get closer to the summit.
It is usually best to plan a layering system of clothes so you can easily remove and add clothing as is necessary.
The right sort of boots is also a must, which again should be bought based on the terrain you will be tackling. If you are traveling up a snow-covered mountain, you will obviously need enclosed boots insulated to keep your feet extra warm.
It really depends, but boots that are comfortable when worn for many hours and potentially over a few days, that also offer good grip, is something you should look out for.
Most smartphones these days have GPS. So you are not just relying on the technology though, it is best to take along a physical map of the area. Make sure it is up to date, though, because the last thing you want is to start your route only to find the map you are using as a reference was printed 20 years ago and since then the route to the summit has changed.
In addition to a smartphone, it may even be necessary to invest in a satellite phone so you always have a signal if you get into trouble.
Walkie Talkies. Walkie-talkies may be a great communication device to get if you are traveling with a small group of people and would like to maintain contact in order not to get lost. Before deciding which to buy, take a look at the following comparison for the best two-way radios for mountains and other environments.
Flares. It may seem a little extreme, but if it is permitted where you are traveling and the type of mountain you are scaling is big and easy to get lost or stuck on, it may be helpful to bring along flare guns or similar devices that can quickly alert the local authorities where you are if you get in trouble.
There are many other things we have not gone into specific detail about in this guide because it will depend on the location of the mountain and the time of year you are climbing, but needless to say, it is important to stay safe and prepared.