Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Step by Step Guide to Preparing Yourself for a High Altitude Mountain Climb

A high altitude mountain climb requires a lot of preparation, both physically and mentally. You’ll need to be as physically fit as possible, with a strong sense of patience, teamwork and independence. You can be successful no matter who you are, the same as you can fail no matter who you are. It’s very important that you realise you can have all of the best equipment in your rucksack, but if you’re not prepared within yourself then the climb is pointless. Here’s a step by step guide to preparing yourself, the right way:

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Physically Preparing Yourself for The Climb 

No matter how tall you are, how light or heavy you are, your gender, or age; you’ll be required to do exactly the same amount of work on your climb as the whole team. Pack weight is never determined by how tall or how much you way - it is totally in discriminatory. Everybody starts the base camp trek equal. You should train with enough weight in a backpack equal to your personal gear, but you should also add around 15 pounds of extra weight. Adding more weight than you consider your ‘top load’ is the best way to train, ensuring that you’re at your best physically. This is the only thing you’ll be able to control throughout your climb, so do your best to be in the best shape of your life!

The mountain is unpredictable, and you won’t be able to control the conditions you’re climbing in. The weather might be bad or hot, the terrain might be difficult, there could even be avalanches. However, if you’re in the best physical condition of your life, you should be well prepared.

 Mentally Preparing Yourself for The Climb 

Nobody said that mountain climbing would be easy, no matter how physically fit you are. You’re going to have to just get on with it and remember that it’s supposed to be difficult - if it was easy, every man and his dog would do it! You probably won’t sleep very well at high altitude, so get as much sleep as you can when you’re at a lower altitude.

 Make Sure You Can Laugh 

If you take the climb way too seriously, you won’t have any fun at all. Just try to enjoy yourself, the sights, and appreciate the experience you’re having. Live in the moment! If you can find humour in an unpleasant situation, or laugh when you could easily be crying, you’ll reach the summit!

Recognise Your Strengths and Weaknesses 

What are you good at? Are you strong? Are you fast? Whatever you are, you need to recognise your strengths. However, you should also recognise your weaknesses, as that in itself is a strength. Do you have to go a bit slower when you have a heavy load? That’s fine, just recognise it and accept it.

Practice Makes Perfect 

Although we encourage laughter, you should realise that climbing mountains is for confident, experienced people. You should practice as much as you can before the big day, using heavy backpacks to help you. Training in many weather conditions is good too!

The things you pack in your bag cannot prepare you for a climb at high altitude, only plenty of mental and physical training can!

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