Mountain Climbing Base Camp: Acclimatizing for the Summit

Mountain Climbing Base Camp: Acclimatizing for the Summit

Starting on a journey to a mountain climbing base camp is quite a thrilling experience. That’s because mountain climbing is a great expedition, whose memories last for a lifetime.

It’s a journey that subjects the body to extreme climatic changes, as well as intense workouts. Thus, proper preparation is essential for successful mountain climbing expedition. Getting to a base camp is an incredible accomplishment. It makes the sacrifice, the discomfort and pain vanish as you experience breathtaking sights of worlds’ highest heights.


You now know what to expect if you are planning on setting out to a mountain climbing base camp.

Mountain climbing

Mountain climbing can be a dangerous sport because of all the risks and hazards involved when trying to conquer a certain peak. That is why prior to the actual climb, intense preparation is required.


Mapping out the route, checking weather conditions, purchasing and securing the necessary equipment (including goods), and other preparations are very important in the whole process of mountain climbing.


One of the most important preparations required is setting up a base camp just right before the climb. A base camp, aptly named because it is a camp that is set up at the base of the mountain, is usually the starting point of the climb.

It is needed for higher mountains that require two or more days, or even weeks, to conquer. The base camp is used to store supplies and other goods that may be carried to other smaller camps higher up the mountain.

Mountain Climbing Base Camp

Climbing a high mountain can be a difficult task. It can rate from difficult to life threatening if there is a lack of proper supplies. This is the reason why a correct set up and an abundance of supplies is highly recommended, even if the climber has to overstock.

The base camp setup for mountain climbing isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Remember, this is the rest area for the climber(s), prior to the ascent, and after going down the mountain.


It should contain a bed (even a makeshift one), cooking supplies for food, a stock area, an area for clothing, a communications setup (especially for team climbers), and other necessities. They can all be housed in a large tent.


Mountain climbing - base camp

The best example of the need for a base camp is when a group of climbers is trying to conquer the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest. It is imperative to properly do the set up because Mt. Everest is full of dangers. Usually, there is at least one member of the team that stays behind while the others do the actual climb.


This certain member is in charge of the supplies and communication, so that if any unforeseen incident happens, he/she can call for a rescue attempt.


Properly setting up a mountain climbing base camp ought to be considered a must before the attempt and requires days to complete. In fact, it can mean life or death in certain situations, and all people are best to avoid that risk.

What you would find in a mountain climbing base camp?

A base camp is basically a campsite for climbers during ascents and descents. Food and other general supplies are normally kept in the camp. They are usually ferried to the camp by porters and sherpas.

In summary, these are some of the things you would find in a base camp:

  • Accommodation (very comfy or just empty spots for you tent).
  • Hot shower (though quite expensive due to the freezing temperatures).
  • Basic food.
  • Basic medication (pertinent for mountain climbing).
  • Acclimatization hikes.
  • Climate accustomed guides.
  • Supplies like gloves, walking poles, etc. (though the prices will be quite high).

 

What you won’t find in a base camp

At a base camp, you get to enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular sights. However, this great accomplishment comes with a pack of limitation. And that’s because at that point, you are miles away from basic infrastructures.

These are some of the basic things you won’t find at a base camp.

  • Highly perishable food stuffs like meat, as ferrying takes long, making it hard to retain their freshness.
  • Regular showers. Temperatures are freezing cold making heating very expensive. Plus the water gets cold as soon as it leaves the heater.

Other Considerations for a Great Mountain Climbing Expedition

Before starting on the journey, proper prior planning is important. First of all, you need to make sure you are physically fit.


Though you may drive as far as the terrain can allow, mountain climbing is everything about trekking.


This may require doing rigorous exercises like stair and weight training to ensure you are in good shape.

Next, you need to plan your accommodation. This may require pre-booking rooms (if available) along the way to the base camp. Alternatively, you may decide to carry a tent for your own accommodation. However, this may require making arrangements for more porter power, to help carry the extra weights.

Base camp

For a stress free hiking experience, you need to get the gear right. This means warm clothes and proper mountaineering boots. Consider carrying waterproof jackets and pants to keep you protected, as rain tends to be a regular.

Get boots which are optimized for climate change to guarantee comfort all through. Likewise, perfectly fitting boots will ensure you have a blister-free experience. Nothing can mess your mountain climbing expedition like sore feet.

Remember to carry all the medication you might need, to relieve acute mountain sickness, among other infections that may occur. These include antibiotics, diamox, paracetamol, etc. You will also need to pack energy boosting snacks.

Some of these supplies are available along the way, but note that their cost increases the higher you go.

 

Final Thoughts for Mountain Climbing Base Camp

Nevertheless, it’s important to make your luggage as light as possible, because heavy luggage will require additional porters. In short, carry only the most basic necessities.

Once you reach the base camp, you may need to rest for acclimatization. This helps reduce the severity of altitude sickness and may take several days.


 

Mountain Climber Exercise: facts & workout routine

Mountain Climber Exercise: facts & workout routine

Mountain climber exercise is a compound exercise that you need to incorporate into your workout routine. Most people are looking for exercises that will work different parts of their body at the same time. The moment you drop on the floor in plank position ready for a series of mountain climbers, you will be working out various parts of your body from your arms all the way down to your legs. Here is what you need to know about mountain climber exercise.

What do Mountain Climbers Work?

As a compound exercise, you may wonder what do mountain climbers work? To start off, your arm muscles need to be strong to sustain your body weight as you draw your legs in and out towards your chest. At the same time, mountain climbers work your back muscles as you sustain the plank position throughout the exercise. Your legs get a good workout too, as you do the mountain climber exercise.

plank
plank

Mountain climbers are hailed as top ab toning exercises. For most people, getting a toned stomach is not only a sight to behold but also makes you feel better about yourself. However, it is probably one of the hardest things to achieve. It requires some extra work and you must incorporate specific ab exercises to get rid of stomach fat. Mountain climbers target your abs directly. A few seconds into the exercise will have you feeling a burning sensation on your abs.

Increasing Flexibility

Besides toning the body, we are all looking to increase flexibility through our workouts. Joint flexibility is particularly very important because it helps the body withstand more intense exercise with time. Mountain climber exercise helps you achieve flexibility of the hips and knees when you move your legs in and out under your chest. The more you engage in mountain climbers, your hip and knee joints become supple and achieve greater mobility.

Start your Mountain Climber Exercise at your Fitness Level

As with all other exercises, you can start off with a few repetitions of the mountain climbers for about 30 seconds and increase the intensity gradually.

Mountain Climber Exercise
Mountain Climber Exercise

Your body will slowly adjust to the movement and you can go up to 1 minute or more depending on how much your arms, abs, back, hip and knees can handle. Remember, the more you practice, the better you will become to it.

Increasing your Cardio Endurance

Another wonderful benefit of the mountain climber exercise is that it gives you a cardio workout. When you move your legs back and forth, your heart rate will increase. It is important to engage in mountain climbers at your level of fitness. If you are just getting started on your fitness journey, you need to take it slow as if you are doing a walk. You may not manage to achieve the running movement in the beginning, but will improve with time.

Abs workout
Abs workout

As your flexibility and resistance increase, you can speed up your mountain climbers to get a better cardio workout.

Last but not leas, No Need for Equipment

The amazing thing with mountain climbers is that you do not need any equipment or special facility. You can just drop on the floor and get your mountain climbers going. You will probably think that doing less that 1 hour or few planks will do not much, but in fact, a few repetitions everyday will set you up on a path to rip off the various benefits that the mountain climber exercise promises.

If you are interested in knowing what the mountain climbing beginners and experts do to be ready for their next mountain climbing adventure, read this interesting article: Mountain Climbing Training.


 

Facts about Mountain Climbing Boots

Facts about Mountain Climbing Boots

Mountain climbing boots are one of the most important items that you have to have in mind, if you are getting ready for your first (or next) mountain climbing adventure. This is Mountaineering Boots Buying Guide.

You need to take time to choose boots that will not only ensure your comfort and safety but also, will be long lasting.

Mountaineering is a strenuous exercise that requires professional gear to scale various terrains. The criteria for choosing mountaineering boots is determined by your level of experience and the terrain you wish to conquer.

You may also have to consider the climbing season to determine if you should get summer or winter mountaineering boots.

Advanced mountaineers that have honed the skills to scale challenging mountains have to use technical mountaineering boots that are designed for such terrain.

Other important criteria in choosing the specific pair of mountaineering boots include the material they are made of, the profile shape, stiffness (specially the out sole), and weight.

In general, Mountain climbing boots can be classified as B0, B1, B2 and B3. For now, we are going to discuss the last 3 categories.


What are B1 Mountaineering Boots?

B1 mountaineering boots are designed for all 4 seasons and are ideal for going on long mountainous distances. The midsole is semi stiffed for great support and stability and the exterior is often made of leather or fabric.

B1 Mountaineering boot - La Sportiva Men's Makalu
La Sportiva Men’s Makalu

B1 boots combine with C1 crampons to increase stability and safety especially when climbing on precarious terrain.


What are B2 Mountaineering Boots?

B2 mountaineering boots are suited for winter and wet conditions. They have stiffer mid and upper soles to provide great support and their exterior is also thicker and warmer.

B2 Mountain boot

Insulated mountaineering boots are B2 boots because they are meant to provide extreme protection in cold and wet conditions.

B2 boots are designed with a heel ledge that enables them fit onto C2 crampons.


What are B3 Mountaineering Boots?

B3 boots are for advanced mountaineering on a wide range of terrain. Ice climbing and technical mountaineering boots fall in this category.

B3 Mountaineering Boot

To withstand the tough terrain, B3 mountaineering boots have extremely stiff soles and exteriors. In addition, they are designed with heel and toe ledges to fit onto C3 crampons.


Always take your time to choose the right mountain climbing boots because it will make a huge difference whether you have a great experience climbing or a really bad one.


Six Facts that you need to Consider to take the Right Choice about Mountain Climbing Boots.

Gathering Information About the Summit

The phrase “Mountain Climbing” cloud seem a little bit general and is applied to all types of trekking and climbs for mountainous regions.

Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa
Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa

In order to have the best experience while trekking or climbing a mountain, it is important to choose the appropriate footwear for the type of mountain. For example, if you choose to wear your day-to-day hiking boots for mountain climbing during the winter season, it is not probable that your boots will give you the stability and balance when dealing with slippery slopes.


Water-resistant Boots

Can you remember a day when you went out and all of the sudden, a big rain caught you out unguarded and your socks got wet? Well, imaging that sensation multiplied 10 times because you are climbing a very cold mountain.

Mountaineering boots with spikes

Your mountaineering boots MUST always be waterproof . Keep in mind that your feet, somehow, are interconnected with all you body and having wet soggy sock and wet shoes cold can also affect the overall temperature of your body.


Heavy or Light Boots

It is important that you find boots so lightweight that you feel like you are wearing your flip-flops while climbing on tough grounds. Less weight on the foot will help you to climb more easily and at a steady speed.

Mountaineering Boots differences


Finding the Right Size

Always choose the right boots that fit you best. Finding the right size, usually takes time and could be tedious, especially, if you have an odd-sized foot. Nevertheless, whatever time you expend on this task, rest assure that it is very well spent.

Mountain Climbing Boots - finding the right size

A wrong size can easily cause discomfort during the trekking and lead to painful complications.


Using the Right Socks

Keep in mind that, your socks will play an important roll when choosing the mountain climbing boots size. If the plan is to wear thick socks (because you are planning to climb a mountain where temperatures are very low), then this will make your feet look bigger.

Mountain Climbing socks

On the other hand, if the plan is to wear thin shocks (because the mountain is located in a tropical region), then you boots will feel a bit loose. This fact, could be much easier to handle, as you will have always the option of adding another set of socks.


Test your Mountain Climbing Boots

Once you have found the boots that you are comfortable with, make sure you give them a good test before the real deal. Walk around and do the sort of movements that you will be doing while trekking (e.g, sudden and hard stops put some pressure on your foot fingers).

Mountain Climbing Boots - Testing the Boots

Go for a downhill path then traverse this as well. If you still feel comfortable, then you have chosen the proper mountain climbing boots.

There are many brands that design the various categories of mountaineering boots. It is of great importance to ensure that you get the right fit. Some people require mountaineering boots for wide feet to ensure comfort and prevent developing blisters and toe bang.

Climbing a Mountain - The Hazards
The Hazards, Tasmania, Australia

You might find that some brands may not have wide widths and it is best to fit into your boot and ensure comfort before you buy it. For wide feet, look for brands that specifically design boots with this consideration.

Experienced mountaineers advise that you break into your mountaineering boots before going to the actual mountain climbing.

Breaking into your mountain climbing boots ensures that you get used to walking in them and even realize any adjustments you might need to make such as getting insoles for extra feet support.


 

Mountain Climbing Training

Mountain Climbing Training

A Mountain Climbing Training program is one of the MOST important parts that you will have to consider before embracing any mountain in the world.

Just like running a marathon, you don’t expect to train for one day then expect to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (click here to see details and facts about Mount Kilimanjaro) afterwards. It takes weeks of mountain climbing training before the big day arrives. If you want to make it till the peak of the mountain, you have to be physically fit and mentally prepared.

Mountain climbing doesn’t have to be a grueling task, especially if you have prepared well for it. Usually, the more fit you are, the more likely you will enjoy mountain climbing. Furthermore, the joy of reaching the top of the mountain outweighs the effort you put through training and climbing the mountain itself.

Mountain Climbing Training - Carring Weight
Mountain Climbing Training – Carring Weight

Looking to get in shape for your next mountaineering? Here is a 6 week mountain climbing training plan that is suitable for both, beginners and expert climbers.


Guide to Mountain Climbing Training

The aim of your mountain climbing training regime is to build your fitness level and ensure your body is strong and has the right balance. For beginners, you can start with body weight workouts such as pushups, dips, crunches, lunges and squats. Once you are comfortable with these moves, you can add some weight to make them more challenging. For instance, you could carry a backpack with heavy books on your back and do these workouts again.

The training also applies to expert climbers, who want to maintain their fitness level prior to their next mountaineering adventure.

First week

  • Monday: Set of 10 reps that includes each of the above body workout moves. Add 30 minutes of cardio workout that includes either swimming, biking or walking on a treadmill.
  • Tuesday: Do not schedule any workouts, just rest.
Mountain Climbing Training - Running
Mountain Climbing Training – Running
  • Wednesday: Increase the number of set to 3, and reps to 15 for strength training. 20 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Thursday: Don’t do strength training. Focus on cardio workouts for 40 minutes.
  • Friday: Do 3 sets of 15 reps of strength training and, 30 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Saturday: focus on 2 to 3 hours of walk carrying a 25 pound (approx 11 kg) backpack.

Second week

  • Monday: do 30 minutes of cardio workouts and 20 minutes walk.
  • Tuesday: do 45 minutes of strength training (e.g, yoga) and 20 minutes of cardio.
  • Wednesday: focus on 3 sets of 15 reps squats, 10 reps pushups, 50 crunches, 50 mountain climbers, and 60 seconds of plank. Also, do 40 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Thursday: don’t do strength training but focus on 30 minutes of cardio workout.
  • Friday: do four sets of 15 reps squats, 10 reps pushups, 50 reps crunches, and 60 seconds plank.
  • Saturday: run for 3 miles (1.6 km), or bike for 15 miles (24 km).

Third week

  • Monday: do 50 minutes of cardio.
  • Tuesday: do 75 minutes of cardio that includes climbing the stairs.
  • Wednesday: do 4 sets of 15 rep squats, 10 rep push up, 50 rep crunches, 60 seconds plank and 40 reps of mountain climbers.
  • Thursday: do 75 minutes of cardio that includes 1800 steps on the stairs with a 20 pound (9 kg) backpack.
  • Friday: alternate walking and running for one and a half hours.
  • Saturday: just rest.

Fourth week

  • Monday: do one and a half hour of cardio (e.g, biking, swimming or running).
Mountain Climbing Training - Core Training
Mountain Climbing Training – Core Training
  • Tuesday: rest up.
  • Wednesday: run 4 miles (6 km) in 10 minutes or less.
  • Thursday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Friday: do 20 minutes of walking, up and down the stairs.
  • Saturday: hike for 5 hours with 25 pounds (11 kg) backpack.

Fifth week

  • Monday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Tuesday: rest up.
  • Wednesday: do four sets of strength training that includes 20 reps of squats, 10 reps of pushups, 70 reps of crunches, 60 seconds plank, and 50 reps mountain climbers. Also, do 45 minutes of cardio.
  • Thursday: do 75 minutes of cardio.
  • Friday: climb, up and down the stairs for 20 minutes.
Mountain Climbing Training - Hiking
Mountain Climbing Training – Hiking
  • Saturday: do 5 hours of hiking carrying a backpack with 35 pounds (16 kg).

Sixth week

  • Monday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Tuesday: do 40 minutes of climbing the stairs.
  • Wednesday: do 75 minutes of cardio.
  • Thursday: walk for 45 minutes.
  • Rest on Friday and Saturday.

Best Diet for Mountain Climbing

At the end of the 6 weeks mountain climbing training program, your body would have build the stamina and strength required to climb a mountain.

Remember that the food you choose to carry during the big day can either make or break your efforts over the last 6 weeks. The night before your mountain climbing escapade, try to take a diet that is rich in nutrients, carbs, fruits, beans and whole grains. Ensuring that your diet has 60 percent carbs, will give you the energy required for mountain climbing the following day.

The next morning, take carbs that can be digested easily such as yogurt, pancake and fruits. During your journey up the mountain, eat fruits like banana and nuts every 2 to 3 hours. Keep them at your backpack or jacket so that you can easily remove them. To stay hydrated, take sips of sports drink after every 10 to 15 minutes.