Alpinism: You will need more than good equipment

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Ivan Dimitrijevic
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Ivan Dimitrijevic
Ivan Dimitrijevic
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Whether you want to be a professional mountaineer or you would like to do this as a hobby, you must be aware of all the dangers you are going to be exposed to. Snow, ice and glaciers might be your passion, but they can also turn out to be your worst enemy. Besides warm clothes, axes, boots and ropes, you will need much more for an extreme sport like this.


Good motor skills are always a plus if you want to be an alpinist. Health tests checking how good are your hands and leg movement in coordination with eyes are obligatory, no matter how trivial the routes are. You need to be able to think and act quickly.

Strength and endurance

Apart from strong will, you will have to be physically strong for this kind of occupation. Months and months of exercising are needed before you dare to put your foot on a mountain. This is not a profession for weak people because there are various dangers and life threatening situations even on a standard route. Overall strength and muscular endurance of both the upper and lower body are extremely important, so you better hit the gym as soon as possible.


Experience is the key to staying alive in this extreme sport. First of all, you will need to go mountaineering with someone who has a lot of experience in this field in order to learn useful things.  Climber’s craft is indeed a demanding profession, so you will gain experience very slowly – persistence and patience matter too. In the beginning, you will have to practice rock climbing at a local rock gym. Indoor climbing can be a hobby on its own, and some people prefer this to alpinism.


you can use this as a way of preparing for the even bigger thrill awaiting you outside. If you don’t know how this functions, let me just tell you that it is quite simple: you will climb an artificial structure that resembles a real rock, but you will be wearing a safety belt at all times so, there is not a slightest chance that you are going to end up injured.

Common sense and knowledge about climbing

Knowledge about climbing and experience are two crucial characteristics of a serious climber. Applied knowledge starts during the preparation and time planning. You will need to think clearly and logically – what could you possibly need if some inconvenient situation occurs? Of course, you shouldn’t pack too many things because, after all, you are going mountaineering and you will have to carry your backpack and equipment upwards. Apart from all the gear, you will also need:

  • light snacks,
  • a bit of water,
  • first aid kit,
  • a cellphone (amplifier and charger)

Pack a few snacks high in proteins along with a bottle of water as you will be spending more calories than usual and the height will make you constantly thirsty. A small first aid kit including ace bandage, athletic tape and something to sterilize wounds will fit into any pocket of your backpack, so make sure not to forget to pack it. A charged cell phone is your best friend when far from home. In case of an emergency, your phone is your way out, unless the reception is weak. In that case, I would suggest you pack an antenna for signal boosting, too.

I hope I proved my point here – you don’t need only good and expensive equipment to do extreme sports. You will need full focus and many other skills that you need to work on. Good luck, future mountaineers!