People started seriously climbing mountains years ago. For most of them, climbing mountain is an addiction like drug and alcohol addiction. Admittedly, obsession seems to be core to their personality and them as much addicts of climbing (if not more) as they were of less acceptable pursuits. But, the physical distraction it provided was needed at the time, as was their need to accomplish something that they could be proud of themselves.
Now, however, the high they get from climbing is unmatched. Chalk it up to endorphins, accomplishment, the beauty of the summit, the thinner air; they can’t seem to stop. They long to see the world from that vantage point, always. They are on a mountain of some sort or another. They are at different levels of climbing, at least 50% of the year.
Climbing mountains – a tale of a guide
“As a guide, I take people climbing, and I have never seen anything increase someone’s confidence more than a successful climb. Having to rely completely on one’s body, their physicality, whatever it is, to move themselves up a rock face, under an overhang, or over a rock wall is one of the most inspiring things I witness over and over again. No one has ever said to me, “Wow, I wish I hadn’t done that climb!”
I can’t speak for the reasoning of others, but I can say this about myself: climbing mountains is an ego-dissolver. I cannot think I am higher than a hill, more significant than the challenge it presents or the instant death it can deliver. I have to let it all go when I am climbing. It is the reality check I need that keeps me looking at life in perspective.
When I am on the mountain, my “problems” disappear; there is no room for them. It is the ultimate meditation; thinking of anything else when climbing can be fatal. The mind learns to quiet itself and be entirely in the moment. My problems, my ego, even my sense of self, become quite insignificant in comparison to the view of the world around me when I stand on a summit. It is a reminder of how tiny I am concerning the grandeur of the earth. The harder the climb, the lower I am, and the more I become a part of the world around me.”
Steps of Mountain Climbing
There are many ways, and they depend on the mountain.
- Some mountains have roads or gondolas or trains to the summit. You buy a ticket.
- Some mountains have hiking trails to the summit. You hike up the trail.
- Some mountains have no trails but don’t require technical climbing. You scramble to the summit.
- Some hills are easy to climb but hard to access. You may have to walk for days, and camp, to get to the base, and then scramble to the top.
Some mountains have steep glaciers.
Don’t climb with someone until you’ve watched them belay. If you see them do something scary on belay at any point, don’t rise with them ever again.