what's mountaineering

What is Mountaineering?

Mountaineering is the sport to nurture your inner adventurer. The one who craves that hit of adrenaline and dopamine when you finally reach the summit and see a stunning view. It’s the sport for the explorer within you, who wishes to use their skills and knowledge to discover paths unknown. So grab your equipment and your favourite outdoor buddy and let’s find out more about what is mountaineering.

Mountaineering is a fun and challenging activity as it’s more technical than, let’s say, hiking or trekking and is done at higher altitudes. Usually, a mountaineer will scale mountains past the 5,000m mark and require specialist equipment and knowhow. But of course, the meaning goes deeper than that.


Mountaineering trips take several days to complete and require a great deal of technical and physical training. Mountaineers also need a lot more supportive equipment than when trekking or hiking. 

Before mountaineering, you have to learn how to use the equipment before the trip. For instance, you’ll need to know how to use an ice axe or climb ice with crampons. Moreover, you will need to learn how to walk on glaciers, survive snow storms and how to rescue yourself in case you slip.

Although it’s a little bit challenging, mountaineering is exciting and comes with loads of fun.

Clothing and Equipment Required

Amazing Mountaineering

In addition to the hiking and trekking clothing and equipment checklist, for mountaineering you’ll need a couple of extra items, depending on the kind of trip you choose.

Mountaineering essentials:

  • Crampons and plastic boots
  • Mountaineering harness
  • An ice axe between 60 and 75 cm long
  • A climbing sling
  • Climbing helmet
  • Telescopic ski sticks
  • Prussic loops

Of course aside from the more specific equipment, if you are looking for some durable, practical and super stylish outdoor jackets and pants then click on the links. 

Fitness Levels Required

hiking fitness training

So, let’s get serious for a minute; mountaineering is a serious undertaking, and you should treat it as such, of course it’s a wonderful outdoor activity but it can be dangerous, just like skiing or snowboarding. Before you engage in this outdoor activity, ensure that you can climb or hike for 5-6 hours with a 30-pound pack on your back. You should also be able to climb about 4,000 ft of vertical gain every day. 

You can train for this by trying running or jogging at altitude with your day pack on your back. To be prepared for mountaineering, you should exercise for an hour, four times every week. On your off days, you should take long hikes (6-8 hours long).

Advantages of Mountaineering


Where do we even begin when talking about all the advantages of mountaineering. To keep it simple, they are: 

  • It is fun
  • Climbing builds confidence
  • You learn to appreciate nature

These are in addition to the benefits of hiking and trekking between climbs. However the benefits of mountaineering are much deeper, think of the spiritual, physical and mental gain. There is nothing quite as fulfilling as knowing that the skills and know-how you have acquired will take you anywhere. 

Disadvantages of Mountaineering

Of course there are always disadvantages of mountaineering. The training itself can be tough going.

  • You may develop altitude sickness
  • It takes a long time to train and be fit for a trip
  • It's dangerous to do it alone

It goes without saying that the good does outweigh the bad but it’s important to mention, right!?


Special Mention - What Is Scrambling?

Don’t get caught up in the lingo. . . 

Scrambling is a combination of sports involving climbing and walking on a mountain. It involves climbing rocks, walls, and mountains without using ropes or technical equipment. The difference between it and hiking is that you’ll have to use your hands to ascend.

Wrapping Up

We hope that this short and sweet article helps you understand what mountaineering is a little better. If you get out there training and make sure you do plenty of research; maybe even join some Facebook groups etc. Before you know it, you will be out in nature and enjoying your time mountaineering with good friends.

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