Mountain climbing is by far one of the most thrilling outdoor adventures. It helps you beat stress and release tension while improving your fitness levels. However, it can be a dangerous activity without the essentials and safety precautions, especially for beginners. Amid all the excitement, a simple mistake can get you to wake up in the ER or worse. Therefore, safety is the number one priority when it comes to mountaineering. Here are some tips and essentials you’ll need to maximize your safety when mountain climbing.
1. Always Bring Enough Gear
Before you start your climbing, ensure you have all the equipment and gear needed for the experience. Normally, there is a guidebook provided that helps you counter check your items, but you can always weigh the situation to know what is needed most for your particular climbing adventure. One rule of the thumb is to bring enough gear and equipment or carry extra where possible, just in case you encounter some hurdles in the course of your unwinding treat. Some crucial essentials include a map for navigation, compass, clothing, knife, sun protection, flashlight, and first-aid supplies. You’ll also need ropes, harnesses, and a helmet, which will be discussed in detail below.
2. Keep an Eye on the Harness
The harness buckles ensure your safety and comfort when climbing. They distribute your weight and prevent you from falling. However, not all climbing harnesses are equal. As you will discover from this resource, some are designed for the minimalist, whereas others are built for aggressive climbers. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to weigh your situation to determine which climbing harness is best for the job. But then again, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so you’ll never go wrong by picking the best climbing harness that the market has to offer. Make sure the harness you pick is strong enough to handle the weight and is also fit for the adventure. Some factors to consider when choosing a climbing harness include:
- Comfort and fit
- Safety features
- Weight & weight distribution
3. Ensure the Rope Is Long Enough
The rope is another extremely important piece of equipment as far as climbing is concerned. You can never do a climb without a rope because it is used to reach the anchor and the belaying ledge. If you have any doubts about the length of the rope, get a longer one just to be on the safe side. Also, be sure to:
- Double-check the knots: Knots on the ropes are the “support system” during your climb. Always make sure that they are properly tied and have a backup knot just in case your hands slide off when climbing. Your life and safety depend on it!
- Climb with the rope over your leg: Always have your rope in the right position to maximize safety. Always make sure you keep it over your leg and not behind. If you slip and fall with the rope behind your leg, you’re more likely to fall upside down and hurt your head. That is why you MUST always have your helmet on, which brings us to the next important essential.
4. Never Forget the Climbing Helmet
Needless to reiterate, mountain climbing is fun, but risky at the same time. A climbing helmet helps minimize any harm that may be caused on your head in case something goes wrong. Falling aside, a rolling stone, for instance, can easily cause a serious head injury. Always ensure you’re wearing your helmet when mountaineering.
5. Always Inspect Your Climbing Equipment
Having all the required gear is one thing, but having in the right condition is absolutely another. Before embarking on your adventure, it’s safer to counter check and confirm that all your equipment is in good working condition and can take you through the ascending and descending journey. If you are not sure about any attire or equipment, ask for recommendations on where you can shop for the right one to stay on the safe side.
6. Be Attentive Throughout the Activity
Forgive the harsh tone, but sometimes mountain climbing is a matter of life and death. You would not want to have your life cut short by a leisure activity for being careless. Keep your focus and take precautionary measures, especially when belaying. Follow instructions and avoid risking your safety.
The above-mentioned safety measures may not be all you will need when mountaineering. Especially if you’re working with a guide, you’ll be provided with a checklist and guidelines to help you enjoy and safely get through your experience. Follow them to the letter and do not hesitate to ask questions.