Training to climb a mountain is not just physical. It is mental too, involving attention to attitude and equipment. In this article I will detail the process of training to climb a mountain. From trying your equipment to what exercise to do, we will cover what you need to make it all the way to the top.
The first step in training to climb a mountain is choosing which mountain you will climb. This is important because your workout regimen will differ based upon the magnitude of the mountain. Different exercises would be needed when training to climb Mount Everest than when training to hike the Catskills. If you will be doing any technical climbing, make sure you know your equipment, knots, and techniques. Make a goal for yourself and design a training regimen to fit your mountain.
Get in Shape! Start eating well, get enough sleep, drink enough water, and exercise. Climbing a mountain is tough work, and you can't expect to just get up one day and make it to the top of a substantial peak. It takes hard work, perseverance and an unbeatable will to climb mountains. All exercises will benefit your mountain climbing abilities, but pay particular attention to workouts that focus on your legs and lower body. Crunches, squats, and running are all great ways to get your legs and core in shape. Also, load your pack up with the supplies you will taking with you and hike a few miles around your neighborhood or a public park to get used to the weight and how your body handles it.
Break in your boots. This seems simple but breaking in your boots can save you a great deal of time and pain. Having well broken-in boots is critical to making it to the top of any mountain.
The best way to break in boots is to wear them. Wear them around the house, wear them to work, and, most importantly, wear them on a few short climbing excursions before your attempt at the summit. If your boots are constantly giving you blisters, you can treat your feet with moleskin, or you may just need new boots.
Know your equipment. Practice using everything from the use of your tent to your stove before you get out in the wilderness. There's nothing worse than having trouble getting your stove started when it's dark and raining. If anything goes wrong, these tools can and will save your life, so make sure you know how they should be used. Read the instruction manuals. If anything has been sitting in your basement for a while, make sure that it is still in top working condition. Take an inventory and buy anything you are missing. Do not forget this step. Making sure your equipment is ready to go is just as crucial as making sure your body is in tiptop shape.
Refuse to quit. Making it to the top of a mountain is as much psychological as it is physical. Your body will be tired, and it may become painful, but if you put one foot in front of the other you will make it to the top.
- Climbing mountains is dangerous. Always have the correct rain gear and camping equipment with you. Know the weather forecasts for the time you intend to be climbing. Speak with local trail guides to make sure someone knows where you are and when you will be back, so someone will come looking for you if you don't return on time. Never climb alone.
- Try to train in a similar altitude to that of the mountain you will be climbing. Thinner air is much harder to breathe in, and it's best to train in the conditions you will encounter.
- The Outdoor Athlete; Schurman; 2008