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Mountain climbing can be an exhilarating, rewarding and life changing experience. Although climbing a mountain can be one of life's greatest accomplishments, it is more than panoramic views, the satisfaction of reaching the summit, or a true wilderness experience. Mountain climbing is a great challenge that involves risk, danger, and hardship. Mountain climbing is not for everyone, although some can find it irresistible, as well as frustrating and sometimes even deadly. There are qualities to mountain climbing that bring inspiration and joy in a pursuit that is more than a pastime or a sport; it is a passion and sometimes a compulsion. A distant view of a mountain may speak of adventure, but the mountains only hint at the joys and hardship that await the climber. Climbing a mountain takes much preparation, knowledge and skill. The mountain climbing environment is indifferent to human needs and not everyone is willing to pay the price or able to survive the hardship in exchange for the physical and spiritual rewards the experience can provide.
There are many different types of climbing. There is hiking on the lower elevation mountains, traditional climbing on the moderate elevation mountains, scaling rock walls of mountains, climbing through snow and ice, climbing glaciers and alpine trekking. Hiking includes various terrain such as rock, dirt, brush, talus and scree, which is loose rock fragments from the crumbling mountain, snow and streams. As the elevation gets higher it becomes necessary to use additional equipment for the climb such as an ax, ropes, a harness, runners and carabiners. When climbing glaciers or climbing in the ice and snow, it becomes necessary to use crampons and gaiters. An ax is just what it sounds like, an ax, however it is an invaluable tool. It is used for additional balance when crossing a stream, climbing through scree which can be very slippery, serving as a cane when going uphill, and a brake when going downhill. Although very important, an ax can be very dangerous if not skilled on how to use it. If not used properly the ax can provide a false sense of security and hurt the climber rather than help them. A rope is sort of a safety net for a climber. The rope is anchored to the mountain, wrapped around the climber's waist or attached to a harness and knotted. Harnesses and runners are what the rope is attached to. The climber puts on a harness or runner and attaches the rope to their waist in order to provide safety and stability when climbing the side of a mountain. Carabiners are metal snap links used for belaying, rappelling, clipping into safety anchors and securing the rope to points of protection. In its simplest form, a belay is nothing more than a rope that runs from a climber to another person, the belayer, who is ready to stop a fall. Belaying is a technique of climbing safety that one must learn and practice before scaling the side of a mountain.
Rappelling is coming down from a climb. Sometimes there is a choice between rappelling and downclimbing. Rappelling might be the fastest and safest way. The weather, the terrain, time, strength and experience all must be considered before rappelling. A rappel system consists of four elements: an anchor, a rope, means of applying friction to the rope and someone to rappel. The most fundamental element of the system is the anchor, which is the point on the mountain to which the rest of the system is attached. The anchor must be carefully selected for strength, stability, and reliability. Once the rappel has begun, not only is the climber's life entirely dependent on the anchor, but also returning to the anchor to make adjustments might be impossible.
Along with all of these types of climbing comes a set of guidelines to help people conduct themselves safely in the mountains. Climbing not only requires technical competence, but also the ability to solve problems and make decisions. Good judgment is essential to climbing. Coping skills and problem solving skills such as the ability to deal with adverse weather, long hikes, thick brush, high exposure and mountain accidents to name a few, are necessary for a safe climb. Based on careful observation of the habits of skilled climbers and a thoughtful analysis of accidents a climbing code as been developed and has served well not only for climbers but for all wilderness travelers. The code is by no means a step by step formula for reaching the summits but rather a set of guidelines to safe and sane mountaineering. Accidents can be avoided or the effects minimized by following the principles of the climbing code. The following code has proven to be a sound guide to practices that minimize risk.
1. A climbing party of three is the minimum, unless adequate prearranged support is available.
2. Rope up on all exposed places and for all glacier travel. Anchor all belays.
3. Keep the party together, and obey the
Quotes talked about in this paper
Names mentioned in this research paper
John Muir, Rock, Meadows,
Health Conditions mentioned in this paper
a dangerously low body temperature,
Keywords included in this paper
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