Mountain Climbing can be quite a challenging, enriching and life changing experience. Although it is one of the most daunting challenges one can encounter in one’s lifetime and offers the benefit of the most scintillating views and the accomplishment of having mounted a summit, yet the perks of mountaineering go far beyond the physical aspect of it.
Mountain Climbing involves a high amount of risk and danger associated with its and it is not for everyone, certainly not for the faint-hearted. Some might suffer from genuine physical complications associated with it while others might be unnerves by the sheer audacity of it and may find it dangerous, even lethal. But for those who get a kick of adrenalin rush on the urge to conquer mountains, for them the loftier the peak, the more exciting the prospect. Mountain Climbing is not a sport or a game. It is an inspiration, a passion, a drive which inspires and compels one to answer the call of the mountain.
The distant views of a breath-taking mountain scenery may fill the tourist’s heart with inexplicable delight and joy but for the one who indulges in climbing the rocky terrain, each step is fraught with danger and peril. The mountains are ruthless and they do not allow for any weakness or frailty. In exchange for the spiritual and physical gratification, they provide, they seek a heavy price in terms of hardship and suffering on its way.
Mountain Climbing can be
classified into different categories based on the skill set of the Climber:
· Lower Elevation Mountain Climbing/ Hiking is for the beginners.
· Moderate Elevation Mountain Climbing/ Rock Climbing is for the regular hikers.
· Scaling Rocky walls of Mountains, Climbing through snow and ice and Glaciers or high altitude trekking is for the truly adventurous.
Mountain Climbing involves plodding through terrains of rock, dirt, bush and gravel, sometimes snow and ice. As one reaches higher elevation, one needs specialised equipment to combat the slopes such as axe, ropes, harness, runners and carbine’s. Snowy and Icy terrain may need crampons and gaiters. At even higher altitude, one may need oxygen backup as the percentage of oxygen keeps falling, making the hiker prone to dizzy spells and fainting sprees, which at that altitude, can be dangerous. Apart from these, most mountain climbers need to make use of specialized shoes and safety equipment to make their expeditions successful and exercise minimum precautionary measures.
It is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of a few valiant men that almost all the peaks, no matter how lofty and treacherous they be, have succumbed to the footprints of man. Even Mount Everest which once claimed to be unsurmountable have been scaled numerous times by men and women since the first successful expedition accomplished by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
Responding to a challenge and that also one cast by nature has its own enchanting spells and there are men who feed on this delight offered by risky expeditions. Through their courage, perseverance and endurance, man has enjoyed the thrill of victory over the high summits. There are some who might do Mountain Climbing for recreation, and thrill, some who might take up the challenge and prove their skill and yet others for whom it is a way of life or an occupational aspect of their job.