Many of us turn to see the mountains either because we are driving and we see them, because we are walking outdoors and they stand out from the landscape or because we are running and we want to go a little further, or even because we see them in the photos that our friends on social networks.
And normally when we turn to see them, the feeling of wanting to be part of it arises, a feeling of wanting to be part of the incredible mountain landscapes, a feeling of overcoming the challenge of reaching the highest point, and as in Mexico Travesias we love it. that people enjoy these unforgettable experiences we share these tips to get you started in mountaineering.
1.- Get closer to an expert
In order for us to gain our own experience, it is important to approach someone who already has it and can guide us so that we do not make mistakes and learn faster but above all, in a safer way, one of the most demanding and dangerous sports if we do not do it. properly.
The expert you approach may be a mountain guide, a friend that you know has been practicing mountaineering for many years, or a group that does frequent mountain climbing and that has people with experience inside it.
In this step, make the most of the person who is sharing his experience with you, ask him all the questions you have, but above all, observe him in the mountains, the best learning is to observe, observe his backpack as a weapon, observe how he walks and evades obstacles, observes his rhythm in the mountain.
Since you have soaked up his experience little by little you will feel more secure and you can start new projects on your own.
2.-Get the right equipment
The equipment is one of the details that will give us more security as well as comfort when we start mountaineering.
Having the right equipment can turn a long and tedious day of cold and uncomfortable foot pain into a day of a pleasant walk enjoying the scenery and company.
The mountaineering equipment is not economical and it is quite a reason why we recommend you start with the boots which is the one that will make the most difference in the activity. To know which boots to buy we recommend you read our article How to Choose Some Good Mountain Boots.
Since you have the boots and you have more outings in your resume, you can buy the rest taking into account your needs, experience and type of mountains you want to do.
3.- Be aware of yourself
This for us is the most important advice to start mountaineering since the self-aware mountaineer can climb any mountain.
What do we mean by this? We mean that you are always attentive to what you feel and what is happening in your body while doing the activity.
The pace is a good example, mountaineering unlike other sports does not go further than the one that goes faster if not the one that goes to the rhythm that your body asks for and the only way to know which rhythm is correct is to be aware of ourselves, see how your heart rate and your breathing increase if they are very fast and suffocate your body is asking you to go slower, the body adapts better to the height and the activity if you have a constant rhythm than if You go fast but you stop every 10 minutes because you are short of air, the constancy makes your body adapt to the lack of oxygen, the muscles warm up and are more efficient when working continuously hot than if you are cooling and heating them.
Another issue of which you have to be aware is the temperature if you go too hot your body will start to sweat and for that it uses energy in addition to that if it gets to lower the temperature and you are wet with sweat you will have more risk of hypothermia, if you feel that the temperature It is high, open your chamber if you are still warm, take it off if afterwards the wind blows and it gives you cold, put it back on, no matter what you are putting on and taking off the layers of clothing, the important thing is that your body is at the correct temperature to be more efficient and hypothermia.
Hydration is also very important do not wait until you are thirsty since at that time you are already dehydrated drink water constantly this will help your body to acclimate well to the height and to make your whole system work better.
Being self-aware also includes knowing how tired you are and how long you can go, the most recommended is to reach the summit having spent a maximum of 60% of our energy since the summit is only half the way and the return requires Also a lot of energy and concentration, most mountain accidents happen back because we have gravity against us and our legs no longer respond the same due to tiredness.
4.- Start step by step
You must start step by step due to many factors, the first is that your body adapts to the height and avoid suffering mountain sickness as you progressively make the mountains your body will suffer less with height and you will be able to reach higher, as that if you try to climb the Pico de Orizaba as your first mountain, the safest thing is that in the camp you feel bad and you can not even try to make the ascent.
Another reason is that you allow your body to strengthen, mountain is one of the most demanding sports with your body, in addition to using most of your muscles, you do it in a place that has little oxygen and often at low temperatures, so as you gradually go up in level you let your body adapt to these changes and become stronger to face more demanding challenges.
5.- Train to achieve it
As we said in the previous point, it is very important that your body has the strength to be able to climb a mountain and although it is well known that the best training to climb mountains is to climb mountains, doing sports and exercises that complement your climbs will help you a lot.
Doing aerobic exercises like running, swimming or cycling will help to strengthen the heart, lungs and muscles that we will use, also doing apneas when swimming is going to help our body adapt more easily to height. If you want more information about training you can check our article on Training Suitable for Climbing Mountains
6.- Find out where you are going to visit
It is always recommended that you inform yourself of the place you are going to visit even if you go with an expert or someone who already knows it is important that you also know what are the conditions that you are going to face to be well prepared.
Investigate what the weather conditions will be, how long the walk normally lasts, what technical level it is, what equipment is needed, what are the complicated parts, access and exit points for any emergency, emergency services that operate in the area, among many other things that you can investigate and they will help you to be prepared, sure, but above all to enjoy more of the mountain.
7.- Do it accompanied
It is the number one rule when doing mountain or any other outdoor activity, we know that sometimes it is difficult to find someone who is also interested in the mountain or who coincides with your times, but when doing these types of activities you only just put yourself in risk since if an accident happened to you because of the withdrawal from these places it is very difficult to find timely help, now that if you go with someone else you already have the help at your side all the time.
8.- Prepare for the inconveniences
This point goes hand in hand with informing you of the place you are going to visit, knowing what kind of conditions you are going to have, you can be prepared for these and achieve your goal.
For example, if you know that there is a high probability of rain, you can wear the appropriate clothes and a change so that the return can be warm and comfortable.
Take with you in your backpack the essentials for any emergency such as a first-aid kit, razor, lighter, food, water, etc. For a more detailed list check out our article Check list for day trips.
Going prepared for any inconvenience will give you the security that if any inconvenience arises you can overcome it and get back home which is the true summit.
9.- Mountain sickness
When we start to do mountain we hear a lot about mountain sickness but sometimes we do not understand well what it is but it is something elementary that we must control to be able to do mountaineering we will explain briefly and the next article we will touch on the subject in more detail.
As the height increases, the atmospheric pressure decreases and makes the oxygen we receive less because it is more dissipated.
By having less oxygen, our body is working without the necessary amount of fuel, which makes our breathing and pulsations faster to receive more oxygen and transport it faster throughout the body, but also because there is less atmospheric pressure, our veins dilate so the heart has to work even harder to be able to transport oxygen in the blood.
If the body does not adapt to these changes, it begins to be affected and so we begin to feel the first symptoms of altitude sickness such as headache, dizziness, nausea, insomnia and vomiting. Once these symptoms appear, what we can do is the following:
· And finally, if the symptoms persist and worsen, doing all of the above, the only thing we have left and it always works is to go down the mountain to return to the height that the body is used to.
Mountain sickness depends on too many factors, so it is not 100% sure that it will not give you, you can do some things to avoid it, such as being well hydrated, increasing the heights little by little, walking higher than you are going to sleep that night, rest well ... but each person reacts differently to the altitude, for this and why there are too many factors is that the doctors have not found an infallible cure to avoid it, the only one that exists is to come down from the mountain.
It is important to emphasize that ignoring altitude sickness when symptoms are already strong, such as vomiting or a very bad headache, can be life-threatening as it can lead to edema.
10.- Enjoy the mountain
We leave this point to the last one because it is the one that we most want to keep in mind, sometimes we forget because we like mountains so much and we only think about how difficult the climb is, how cold the wind is, or in how tired we are but if you stop for a moment and enjoy the incredible landscape that is around you, you observe everything that you have already traveled, or the sun rising lighting the way you will remember because you like the mountain and you will see that the slope does not It is as steep as it seemed to you, the wind will feel warmer, and enjoying it will take away your fatigue because you are almost reaching the top.
This excursion can take place from to
This is not recommended for pregnant women, people with neck or back problems, people with haemophilia, asthma or epilepsy or for people with heart problems.