Having been active as a hill walker for over 28 years, I have often come across people who were completely phased out by the thought of climbing the first hill! Mind you , I believe the same frame of mind also applies to every other ‘hurdle’ in life. The point being – much of it is in the mind!
When it comes to climbing an actual mountain for the first time and unless one has a medical condition that would prevent the attempt, almost everyone can do it! It is all about mind over matter. The level of fitness is only relevant to the speed of the ascent.
As a guide to those who are keen to try this wonderful activity, these are the fundamental ‘rules’ that will assist:
- Never look to the summit as you climb. Determine the direction of travel and then watch where you put your feet – each and every step!
- Shorten the length of each step as much as necessary to remove your bodyweight from the effort. Depending on the gradient, this could mean one barely shuffling along at as little as half a foot length at a time!
- Choose level foot holds when available.
- When the track allows, zig zag to reduce the effect of the gradient.
- When you need a rest – choose a landmark up ahead rather than the moment you decide to rest. This will help you to extend your fitness.
- When you stop, look behind you (downhill). You will be amazed how quickly you are climbing!
- Keep repeating to yourself – ‘I can do it!’
When you reach the top the feeling of satisfaction and sense of achievement is mind blowing!