What is Mountaineering?
Freedictionary.com defines mountaineering as, "the climbing of mountains for sport, usually incorporating the skills of rock climbing and climbing on ice." It often involves the use of technical equipment, such as an ice axe, rope, harness and helmet, as well as other gear.
Physical Benefits of Mountaineering
Mountaineering offers aerobic exercise, can improve cardiovascular fitness in participants and can reduce body fat. This can occur not only on the climb, but also while training for mountaineering. Also, mountaineering requires a climber to be physically strong to carry heavy loads or use technical ice tools.
Training for Mountaineering
Physical training for mountaineering requires aerobic conditioning for strenuous climbing. Carrying a weighted backpack can help to train the body to get used to carrying heavy loads, especially when walking uphill. Alpine Ascents, a mountaineering guide service, recommends its clients do a combination of aerobic exercises such as running, swimming, biking, hiking and cross-country skiing, as well as strength training.
Checking With a Doctor Before Climbing
Before engaging in mountaineering or training for a mountaineering trip, schedule with a physician for a checkup. A doctor can determine whether someone is capable of strenuous activity, and can make specific recommendations.
Intrinsic Benefits of Mountaineering
Besides the physical benefits of mountaineering, the sport offers other intrinsic benefits--for instance, setting a goal and reaching it. Also, it allows people to work with other people as part of a climbing team, and develop a sense of friendship and camaraderie.