Monday, June 18, 2007

Mountain Climbing

Mountaineering is the age-old activity of climbing up the steep slopes of a mountainside in hopes of reaching the summit. Mountain climbing encompasses numerous activities including snow, ice and rock climbing as well as backpacking and snow camping.

Basic mountaineering
generally entails climbing steep snow slopes with the aid of crampons and an ice axe. A majority of introductory mountaineering is comprised mostly of hiking. This is one reason why many people start with mountaineering. It seems less intimidating than climbing vertical rock walls. The difficulties of mountaineering lie not only in the distance covered and elevation gained, but in the environmental conditions encountered. A single day of mountaineering can include subzero temperatures to extreme highs. Because the elements can turn a moderate slope into a great challenge, prudent decision making skills and the proper gear is needed. Ropes and other technical climbing equipment are required once the slope angle and potential for a fall increases.

Many people begin mountaineering to add the spice of adventure to their modern day lives in a culture obsessed with safety. The rewards of climbing a mountain are many, and for this reason, people dedicate their lives to the pursuit of taller and more difficult peaks.


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