Tips to Challenging Mountains to Climb in the World

The word ‘mountain’ paints a very rosy picture in everyone’s mind. We envision a beautiful, tall, green, or snowy peak, cutting through the clouds, but these amazing structures can be very challenging and dangerous to climb. Factors like terrain, climate, location, etc., play a big role in setting the difficulty level for attempting the climb up a mountain.

Making an attempt to scale some of the world’s highest summits is not a feat for those who do not have the discipline and willpower to train for years on end. Climbing a mountain, especially one that has a reputation of being dangerous, takes endeavor, courage, and years of training. Given below is a list of some of the world’s deadliest and most challenging mountains to climb, along with the names of some notable mountaineers who conquered these high peaks.

The Deadly 13
1. Mount Everest
Location
Nepal Tingri County, Tibet Autonomous Region
Height
8,848 m

Risk Factors
Avalanches, ice collapsing, exposure to extreme cold and wind.Mount Everest is Earth’s highest peak. It has been regarded as one of the most dangerous and difficult peaks to climb, with the death toll of climbers at approximately 200 deaths. The causes of death include avalanches, injury from falling or ice collapsing, exposure, or health problems related to the conditions on Mount Everest. It is a challenge to climb this peak due to its height, the weather conditions, the terrain, and the route taken.

There are two routes used to climb the Everest – the southeast ridge from Nepal, and the north ridge from Tibet. Technically, the southeast ridge is considered the easier route, but avalanches, seracs, crevasses, and shifting blocks of ice make this route very dangerous and challenging. The first successful expedition of Mount Everest was done by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on 29th May, 1953.

2. Annapurna I
Location
North-central Nepal
Height
8,091 m

Risk Factors
Big ice cliffs and seracs.Annapurna I was the first peak over 8,000 m to be scaled, and this feat was accomplished on 3rd June, 1950, by Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal. The first ascent of Annapurna I is of great historic significance in the world of mountaineering, as this climb was done in one season, without the use of oxygen cylinders.

According to recent statistics published by The Economist, Annapurna I is the deadliest summit in the world. The death ratio of the mountaineers who have tried climbing this peak is 34% as compared to Mount Everest, where the ratio dips to 4%. The main reason why Annapurna I is a very challenging climb is its glacial architecture. The routes to this peak have big ice cliffs and seracs, making it the most dangerous and challenging peak in the world to climb.

3. Baintha Brakk
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
7,285 m

Risk Factors
Granite tower-shaped peak,high altitude, steepness.Baintha Brakk, also known as ‘The Ogre’, is a monster of a mountain. It has a reputation for being one of the toughest mountains to ascend, as it is a lethal combination of high altitude, steepness, and its height above local terrain.

A striking feature about this mountain is its complex granite tower-shaped peak, which seems almost impossible to climb. The first ascent of this peak was made by Doug Scott and Chris Bonington on the 13th of July, 1977. 24 years later, the second ascent was made by Urs Stöcker, Iwan Wolf, and Thomas Huber, on 21st July, 2001. Recently, on September 7th, 2012, Kyle Dempster and Hayden Kennedy, from the US, successfully summited the peak’s south face. Owing to the difficulty in climbing this deadly peak, only skilled mountaineers with years of training and experience should make an attempt to climb it.

4. The Eiger
Location
Canton of Bern, Switzerland
Height
3,970 m

Risk Factors
Avalanches, crumbling rocks, diminishing ice fields.The Eiger is the most visible massif of the Bernese Alps. Scaling the north face of this mountain is the difficult part, because of the risk of avalanches, crumbling rocks, and diminishing ice fields. Climbers prefer climbing this mountain during the winters because the freezing of the ice strengthens the crumbling rock on the north face.

Since 1935, approximately 64 mountaineers have died attempting to climb the north face of the mountain. Due to this, the north face is called ‘Mordwand’ in German, which means ‘murderous wall’. The first ascent was made on 11th August, 1858, by Charles Barrington and his two guides, Christian Almer and Peter Bohren.

5. K2
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, China
Height
8,611 m

Risk Factors
Glaciers, steep sections of rocks, seracs.K2 also goes by the name Mt. Godwin-Austin, and is regarded as one of the most technically difficult peaks to scale. It is the world’s second-highest peak, and is deathly dangerous, as even the simplest route taken requires crossing a glacier, steep sections of rocks, and seracs (which have a tendency to collapse any time).

Apart from its frozen composition, unpredictable weather also poses a great threat to mountaineers ascending this mountain. The mortality rate of this peak is similar to that of Annapurna. The first ascent was made by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli on the 31st July, 1954.

6. Monte Fitz Roy
Location
Argentina-Chile Border
Height
3,359 m

Risk Factors
Granite faces, unpredictable weather, isolated location.Monte Fitz Roy is also called Cerro Chaltén, Cerro Fitz Roy, and Mount Fitz Roy. Even though this mountain is nearly one-third the height of Everest, it is very hard to climb because of its technical difficulties, like granite faces, isolated location, and unpredictable weather.

Even the most skillful mountaineers find this mountain challenging. Climbing this summit requires a great deal of experience and training. The route that is used the most for ascending this deadly mountain is the Franco-Argentina route. Its first ascent was made in 1952, by Lionel Terray and Guido Magnone. On an average, this mountain sees a successful ascent only once a year.

7. Kanchenjunga
Location
International border between India and Nepal
Height
8,586 m

Risk Factors
Mudslides, avalanches, almost vertical peak.Kanchenjunga is the highest peak in India, and is worshiped as a holy mountain by the people in Sikkim and Darjeeling. It poses to be a challenging climb due to its almost vertical peak. Descending the summit is difficult, and this feat has claimed many lives.

Other factors, such as the risk of avalanches and mudslides, are also to be considered while talking about the dangers regarding the climbing of this peak. The fatality ratio has gone up to approximately 22% in recent years. The first ascent of Kanchenjunga was by Joe Brown and George Band on 25th May, 1955.

8. Lhotse
Location
Nepal (Khumbu), China (Tibet Autonomous Region)
Height
8,516 m

Risk Factors
Tremendous south face, uneven terrain,snow, steep slopes.Lhotse, compared to the other eight-thousanders, has the smallest topographic prominence value. It’s rise is only 610 m above the South Col. Even though the prominence of this peak is small, it has a tremendous south face. In fact, the south face of this mountain is the steepest mountain face of its size in the world.

Climbing this peak is a challenge on account of steep slopes, uneven terrain, snow, altitude level, etc. Mountaineers have to usually traverse through snow, ice, and glaciers to get to the top. The first ascent of this peak was done by Fritz Luchsinger and Ernst Reiss, on May 18th, 1956.

9. Matterhorn
Location
Pennine Alps on the border between Switzerland and Italy
Height
4,478 m

Risk Factors
Shape of peak, steep faces, no landing area, unpredictable weather.Matterhorn is a pyramid-shaped peak, that has four faces, facing the four compass points. It is a great tourist spot, due to its location in the Alps on the border of Switzerland and Italy. The number of deaths recorded on this peak is as high as 500. What makes this mountain a very challenging climb is that its faces are very steep.

Skilled rock climbers can scale the nearly vertical faces, but the danger levels increase if bad weather hits, as this mountain has no escape hatch or landing area to wait out unforeseen bad weather. The first ascent was made on July 14th, 1865, by Edward Whymper, Charles Hudson, Francis Douglas, Douglas Robert Hadow, Michel Croz, Peter Taugwalder (father), and Peter Taugwalder (son).

10. Mount McKinley
Location
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, Alaska, US
Height
6,194 m

Risk Factors
Altitude, glaciers, climate, avalanches.Mount McKinley is the highest mountain in North America, and is a favorite among aspiring high altitude mountaineers. The mountain is said to be dangerous due to its location, its elevation, and also the fact that it has the greatest relief, rising approximately 18,000 ft above its surrounding plain.

This mountain has five glaciers – the Peters Glacier, Muldrow Glacier, Traleika Glacier, Ruth Glacier, and the Kahiltna Glacier, that flow off the slopes of this mountain, making this mountain difficult to climb. Adding to the glaciers are avalanches, and extremely cold weather which makes Mount McKinley a truly challenging peak to summit. The West Buttress Route is the one that is mostly used while climbing this mountain. Its first ascent was made on June 7th, 1913, by Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum.

11. Nanga Parbat
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
8,126 m

Risk Factors
Tremendous vertical relief.Nanga Parbat has been given various cognomens, like Killer Mountain, Murder Mountain, the Maneater, and Mountain of the Devil, as the death toll of this mountain is very high. The most notable feature of this mountain, that also makes it so difficult to climb, is that it has a tremendous vertical relief in all directions.

The Rupal face of Nanga Parbat is referred to as the highest mountain face in the world. Scaling this mountain is difficult because Nanga Parbat is an enormous ridge made up of ice and rocks. The first successful ascent of this mountain was made by Hermann Buhl on 3rd July, 1953.

12. Mont Blanc
Location
The Alps on the Italy-France border
Height
4,810 m

Risk Factors
Frequent rock-falls, altitude sickness, glaciers, ice.Mont Blanc is western Europe’s highest mountain, and is considered as one of the most dangerous mountains in Europe. With up to 40% of its total area being covered by glaciers, this mountain is one of its kind in the world. Mont Blanc earned its notoriety as one of the deadliest mountains to climb because it has the highest fatality rate in Europe.

Even though it is a challenging climb due to factors like glaciers, ice, altitude sickness, rough terrain, etc., over 20,000 tourists attempt to climb this peak every year. The most popular route taken for ascending this mountain is Voie Des Cristalliers, which is also known as Voie Royale, and it is considered to be dangerous because of frequent rock-falls. The first ascent was made on 8th August, 1786, by Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

13. Ultar Sar
Location
Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
Height
7,388 m

Risk Factors
Avalanche risks, strong winds, unpredictable weather.Ultar Sar is considered as one of the most unclimbable peaks in the world. It is a challenging climb due to the mountain’s technical difficulties like avalanche risks, strong winds, and unpredictable weather.

Over 15 expeditions have been made to conquer this peak, but all have been unsuccessful. The easiest route used to climb this mountain is via Bathbakor Base Camp. There are only two successful summits to this peak recorded. The first was in 1996, by Akito Yamazaki and Kiyoshi Matsuoka from Japan, where Yamazaki died during their decent from the peak. The notable feature of their achievement was they ascended the peak in alpine style, which is carrying all the food, shelter, and other equipment along with them. Most of the climbing was done at night to avoid the risk of getting injured from falling ice or rock. The second was also in 1996, by Ken Takahashi, Masayuki Ando, Ryushi Hoshino, Wataru Saito, and Nobuo Tsutsumi. Since then there has been no record of anyone successfully summiting this peak.

Bouldering Tips at Your Own Risk

Bouldering, a standout amongst the most widely recognized recreation exercises the vast majority of us like, has turned out to be extremely famous today particularly among the more youthful era. Here, we give you some bouldering tips for apprentices which you can use to take in a couple of things about how to go about shake climbing.

Most people like bouldering, which is also called rock climbing, and it is pretty natural that people have a fair idea of what’s involved. However, if you are a beginner and don’t know what to do, here is an attempt to explain to you some bouldering tips so that you get the basics right, besides identifying your strengths and weaknesses which are required during the process of climbing.

Go Through the Route
The first and the most important techniques is going through the route which you wish to climb. You should be skilled at reading routes as it’s an important part of improving your climbing technique. Before you start climbing, take a look at the route you would traverse. Follow and visualize the steps which you would need to take besides the sequence you would follow. Try to predict the balance you would need for each move. The key is finding the most important places through the route which you can use to balance yourself. Take notes mentally where your hands and feet should be.

Intensity of Your Grasp
Another important bouldering tip is your grip. While holding the boulder, just relax, don’t over grip. If you over grip, your forearms would wear and you would not be able to climb in the proper order. Even though some climbers believe that relaxing the grip is not that important, but it is. Many a time there is a tendency to unconsciously tighten the grip, thereby making the body tense, which in turn effects the smoothness and fluidity while climbing. The shoulders and back should be relaxed and loose.

Get Your Balance Right
Getting your balance right is one of the most important bouldering tips. The center of balance should always be on the body mass while you should ensure that the center of gravity is in the region of your belly. The key to become a good climber is to have an excellent sense of balance and move smoothly and effortlessly.

Be as Close as Possible to the Rock
While climbing, you should always ensure that you balance yourself in the proper order with your arms and feet. The center of gravity should always be in a forward-backward direction, which means you should not tilt too much on either your left or right. Be as close as possible to the rock.

Static Climbing
In a static climbing move, the body is controlled by the movement of muscles instead of the body’s momentum. You can control the movement of your body by shifting the body weight either left, right, up or down. You should move your body when both feet and hands are properly planted on the rock. A good technique to remember is a two step process – moving limbs and then shifting body weight. You should never move your limbs and shift your weight at the same time. Your arms should be used for balance and legs for holding body weight. A good indicator or whether you have got the right static climbing technique right is taking a note whether your feet makes noise while climbing. If they do, you need to improve on your static climbing technique.

Speed
There are climbers who climb up slowly and deliberate, while others climb fast. Whatever the speed of climbing, both are considered good bouldering techniques. If you climb fast, you would need to use a lot of your upper body, especially your arms, besides you should have a proper grip and your arms should be strong enough. If you are looking to move up fast, you should use the momentum of your body, especially the legs to move up fast. On the other hand, if your hands are not that strong, you should not try to move up fast. You should try and balance your body mass using your legs as a support for your weight and arms for keeping you in place.

Even though people may think climbing to be tough, it’s not, if you use the proper bouldering tips and techniques. So the next time you go out climbing, use the tips mentioned above and have a smooth ride to the zenith.

Tips to Easily Make Liquid Chalk for Rock Climbing By Yourself

What is Gym Chalk
Magnesium carbonate, a white mineral, is known as Gym Chalk or Climbing Chalk, due to its use in activities like weightlifting, rock climbing, athletics, and gymnastics.
Rock climbing is one enthralling adventure activity that requires immense strength and endurance. Climbers often have to rely on their grip and arm strength to overcome a difficult climb. Subsequently, a climber wouldn’t want sweaty palms, which might weaken his/her grip. Here, chalk comes to the rescue and acts as a drying agent to prevent hands from getting sweaty and slipping off the rock surface. Moreover, application of chalk provides a stronger grip to hold on to a crack or crevice.

The use of normal chalk creates a lot of dust and requires frequent re-chalking. Thus, the necessity of using liquid chalk was born. Buying liquid chalk every time can prove costly. So, here is a better and cheaper option of making it at home, whenever and in whatever quantities you may require.

How to Make Liquid Chalk

Ingredients:
Chalk powder or gym chalk (blocks)
Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
A bowl
A stirrer
An airtight bottle
A cup (or any measuring unit)

Procedure:

– Take a bowl or a container and add the fine chalk powder into the bowl.
– Pour some alcohol into the powder and start stirring it.
– Keep stirring the mixture with a stirrer and keep adding alcohol until all the powder becomes one with the liquid.
– Make sure it becomes really smooth, like the consistency of yogurt. (you can add another splash of alcohol, if needed)
– Now, once it is ready, fill it in an airtight container or bottle.

The proportion of chalk and spirit should be 2:1. So, if you take 2 cups of chalk powder, it would need around 1 cup of alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is basically used as an antiseptic. It is denatured alcohol that can be perfumed too. The purpose behind using alcohol in making liquid chalk is that it evaporates fast. Thus, while choosing rubbing alcohol, get a 70% (by volume) Isopropyl alcohol. Lesser than that will dry up the mix fast.

It is easier to use ready-made powdered chalk, but if you have blocks of chalk, then you need to crush them neatly. Ensure that the powder is very fine, almost dust-like; you can strain it carefully using a fine screen or filter.
You may use a squirt bottle or a small squeeze bottle for storage. Also, avoid preparing large quantities of liquid chalk as it may dry up eventually.

Using Liquid Chalk
Squeeze out only a little coin-shaped liquid chalk on your palm, because, if you squeeze out extra, it cannot be applied elsewhere like a lotion. Rub the chalk in your palms. Your hands will start feeling cold as the liquid chalk forms a layer over your skin, and the alcohol in the chalk begins to evaporate. You hands would then appear white, with a nice layer of chalk filling in all the cracks on your skin. You are now good to begin your ascent!

Advantages of Liquid Chalk
– It provides a better and longer grip than chalk powder or blocks.

– Liquid chalk is beneficial during difficult climbs where it may not be possible to dip the hands in the chalk bag frequently.

– Using it also proves advantageous in competitions where frequent re-chalking may affect your scores.

– The residue that is left behind due to liquid chalk on rocks or indoor climbing walls is lesser than chalk powder. Thus, it is more environment friendly.

– Besides being easy-to-use, it does not form any dust, like chalk powder, which is harmful for the lungs.
Therefore, keeping a homemade bottle of liquid chalk handy can prove beneficial to any rock climber. Liquid chalk is available in lotion as well as liquid spray form. This, however, is mostly used at gyms.

Guide to Prepare for a Trek in the Himalayas

Trekking is an addiction. Every year, thousands of people from across the world leave their homes for days together, in order to go trekking and explore the lesser-known and difficult terrains of our planet. People are so enthusiastic about their treks that they tend to prepare for them several months in advance, and more often than not, their journeys, indeed, exceed their expectations. One such destination, which is undoubtedly a haven for trekking enthusiasts worldwide, is the Himalayas. The sheer mention of the name gets trekkers on their toes, and soon, they are on to an expedition to explore the forbidden peaks of the mighty mountains.

Preparing for a Himalayan Trek
If you wish to go on a trek to the Himalayas, it’s important to ensure you are thoroughly prepared. The most handsome mountain ranges in the world can also be most unpredictable and at times, ruthless for an unsuspecting trekker. Here is a rough guide that will help you make adequate and proper preparations for your ‘trek of a lifetime’.

Stay Fit
If you are attracted to the beauty and serenity of the Himalayas and decide to trek the mountains, it is very essential to stay extremely fit. Only the fitness of your body will help you climb the tough terrain of the Himalayan ranges, and complete the mission.

Increase Your Stamina
You can begin by doing simple things, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, climbing steep hills, preferably with a loaded backpack, walking faster than usual, and also covering long distances. These exercises will enable you to increase your stamina, and this will help you a lot during your actual trek. Other cardiovascular exercises can also help you to a great extent.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

This becomes very essential, especially when you are climbing steep terrains and/or camping at very high altitudes. As you climb higher and higher, the oxygen levels in the atmosphere tend to diminish, leading to breathlessness and extensive fluid loss from your body. This can be dealt with if you focus on optimizing your sleep. Make it a point to sleep for at least eight hours a day. Moreover, drink lots of water. This will not only keep you hydrated, but will also make you less susceptible to altitude sickness during your trek.

At the end, do not forget to do regular muscle exercises so that they are conditioned for the difficult ascents and descents in the trek.

Be Absolutely Sure About Your Health

If you are planning to go trekking, you need to be absolutely sure that you are not suffering from any kind of illness. Before starting your trek, if you have any kind of uneasiness or there is an onset of a mental or physical problem, it is more advisable to postpone your plan.
This is simply because the mountains can be hostile at times, and medical facilities may not be available in the most remote passes. It is, therefore, not advisable to ignore even a slightest hint of an illness, as it may become really troublesome later on.

Eat a Wholesome Diet

For trekking in the Himalayas, it is essential to stay in good physical and mental shape, and one of the basic factors promoting this is the consumption of good food. As you go deeper and deeper into the Himalayas, freshly cooked food remains your only option, as canned food loses its taste and nutrition after some days. So, while you are in the process of grooming yourself for the tedious trek, focus more on eating freshly cooked, simple but wholesome food so that it won’t be very difficult for you during your trip.

Do Basic Research

If you are going on a Himalayan trek for the first time, it is very important that you know the region. This is simply because it will help you prepare yourself mentally for the trek. You can get help from the Internet, regarding the mountains themselves, people, culture, food, climate, geography, and also the various tour operators in the area.
If you know someone who had been to a Himalayan trek in the past, then it is a good idea to speak to that person about his/her experiences. This will help you decide whether you actually want to embark on the journey or not. Also, see if any sort of permits or licenses are required to go trekking in certain areas of the Himalayas. Generally, the agents take care of these, but if you are traveling on your own, you need to get information on the various authorities that issue these licenses and permits, and get in touch with them as soon as possible.

Plan Your Trip

The Himalayan ranges are a beautiful blend of natural treasures and cultural heritage. See where your interest lies, and chalk out an itinerary for your trek. For instance, if natural beauty is what impresses you, you may choose to trek through the lush, luxuriant Himalayan forests, in which case, Sikkim would be a good place to go.
On the other hand, if you are a history freak and wish to explore some of the ancient Buddhist monasteries, Little Tibet may be a good option. It should be noted that it is impossible to capture the Himalayas in one, single trek. So, plan properly as to exactly what you want to achieve through your trek.

Proper Timing is Vital

Once you have decided where in the Himalayas you want to go, the next step is to determine when you should go there. The best time to go trekking into the Himalayas is generally from March to June. However, you should not be overconfident about the weather, which may change drastically all of a sudden.

The Indian Himalayas experience heavy rains during the months of July and August. So, it is better not to head towards them during this period. Moreover, they also experience an extreme winter from the middle of November till March. So, if you want to trek the mountains during this period, you can head to Nepal instead of India.

Consider the Unforeseen Expenses

Setting a budget is important, especially if you decide to trek independently. Remember that you are about to head towards an absolutely unpredictable place on earth, and therefore, apart from the obvious expenses such as those incurred on food, accommodation, porters, and transportation, there may also be numerous unforeseen expenses. Hence, it is advisable to keep some extra cash with you.
On the other hand, if an agent is organizing your trip, it is recommended to carry some extra money to be given as tip. Hanging on to a tight budget while on a Himalayan trek might not help in certain contingent situations.

Assemble a Proper Trekking Gear

Trekking certain remote locations in the Himalayas can tend to be more difficult than those in the other mountain ranges in the world. So, you have to be absolutely sure that your trekking gear is of a good quality, and sturdy enough to withstand the brutalities of mountain weather. If your agent is arranging a gear for you, do not sit back and relax. Double-check the contents arranged by your agent. If in doubt, at least carry your own sleeping bag and tent.

Things to Remember
◆ Do not forget to carry enough warm clothes, as the Himalayan climate remains cold throughout the year.

◆ Carry a medical kit, containing, apart from your basic medications, things such as wound disinfectants, band aids, mosquito repellents, a thermometer, and some analgesics and antibiotics, as prescribed by your physician.
◆ If you are trekking independently, be sure that you carry adequate camping and cooking equipment. This should include a sturdy, but lightweight tent, sleeping mats, a kerosene stove, and some lightweight utensils.

◆ Before hiring a trekking company, check properly about their reputation. Ensure that your guide is experienced and knows the routes properly. It is also advisable that you purchase a map of the region before you embark on
No matter how long or difficult your Himalayan trek may be, the mountains will always make you happy, so much so that you will want to return to them again and again. All you need to do is to consider the tips given above, before you decide to embark on your journey. It is also advisable that you carry some basic medicines with you so that they can come handy whenever you need them during the trek. You can also carry certain foodstuff, such as dry fruits, chocolates, or packets of instant noodles so that you can have quick bites on high altitudes. Carry only those items which are absolutely necessary, and see to it that your backpack is as light as possible. Remember to be polite and respectful towards the local people. Eventually, it will be nothing but your positive attitude that will help you successfully complete the trek, and return home with an unparalleled experience that you will cherish all through your life.

Tips to Rock Climbing Safety

unduhan-2Rock climbing is not child’s play. One has to be very cautious when indulging in this activity. Even a slight mistake can cause serious injury, which may prove to be fatal. Several enthusiastic individuals have taken up this sport as it is highly challenging and allows a person to test his own limits. However, its increasing popularity has resulted in higher incidences of injuries pertaining to this sport. It is, therefore, imperative that one follows preset safety measures to ensure safe climbing.

Rock climbing can be performed either indoors or outdoors. Outdoor climbing is far more dangerous than indoor climbing because of the lack of additional protection for the climber. If you are interested in this adventurous activity, you can ensure protection by following the measures given below. For better understanding, we have segregated them as general and specific safety tips. General tips must be followed by indoor as well as outdoor climbers, whereas specific tips must be followed depending on whether the activity is performed on a rock wall or in a simulated climbing gym.
Rock Climbing: Play by the Rules

☞ Before the Activity

The first requirement for safe climbing is that you have to be mentally prepared and physically fit before beginning this exhaustive task. With a sound mind and body, it will be easier for you to handle difficult situations, thereby aiding you in escaping mishaps.

Purchase new equipment on your own and do not borrow it from others. Make sure you have purchased good quality equipment and backup materials to ensure protection. Cheap and low quality equipment can land you in trouble.

Select your climbing shoes with utmost care because uncomfortable shoes make climbing difficult. Look for shoes that provide proper grip when going up on a rock wall. It is wise to keep an extra pair of shoes so that you can change into them if the shoes you have put on gradually wear out.

List all the necessary items you will require during the climbing session, and pack them appropriately so that you do not miss out anything. Even the smallest missed equipment can put your life in danger.

Ensure that you have all the required knowledge about the climbing equipment. Having good equipment will not serve any purpose if you do not know how to use them at the right time.

It is important to acquire the necessary skills and learn different climbing techniques to prepare yourself for handling difficult and dangerous situations. Learning the skills from a professional is something you must definitely do prior to taking up this activity. You can also practice climbing on different rock surfaces to sharpen your skills.

Choose a climbing partner with similar experience. Someone who can lend a helping hand in tough situations and not be a burden due to lack of experience.

Maintaining balance is extremely essential during climbing. Practice exercises like the one-legged stand to improve your balance. Perform stretching exercises so as to prepare your body for the exhaustive task before you begin. This way you will condition the body and prevent the occurrence of sprains.

☞ During the Activity

Wear a helmet to protect yourself from loose rocks that may fall off and hit your head causing injury.

Plan each move before making it on the rock wall. Having a clear picture in mind will land you at the right place safely.

Check the harness, rope, belay device, knots, and other equipment before climbing and also intermittently en route. Replace equipment whenever you feel they are not working properly or are worn out.

Be careful when climbing or belaying. Be responsible enough to be attentive, specially when belaying because of the risk involved. Any carelessness on your part may result in disastrous consequences.

Maintain the position of the rope over your leg. Having it behind or on the sides can flip the climber upside down, causing serious head injury.

Always use two or three anchors to keep you safe and alive. Remember, to sail through such an activity safely, it is better to have multiples of everything, starting right from anchors to knots in the rope.

Ascertain the appropriateness of each hand and foothold before moving forward because loose rocks may make you fall.

Water is essential to keep you hydrated. So, do not neglect to drink water before and while performing this activity. Carry a bottle of water to prevent problems like blurry vision, dizziness, instability, etc. Facing any of these in the middle of nowhere is definitely not good.
Make it a habit to use complete and appropriate verbal commands like ‘off-belay’ and ‘climbing’ to maintain uniformity for easy understanding. Random commands can most likely land you in trouble due to misunderstanding between you and your partner.

Be aware of your comfort level and limits. If, at any point, you feel that it is not possible to climb further, take a break and relax.
Pointers for Climbers

☞ Outdoor Rock Climbing

Do not forget to inquire about the weather of the location where you have decided to go rock climbing.

Study the rock wall so that you know how it is, and decide the route you are going to take. A steep wall calls for a climbing technique that is quite different from what you would use with a dirt-filled rock wall. So, figure the technique you are going to use beforehand.
Always give the details of your trip to family and friends so that they are aware of where you are headed to, and are able to look for you if circumstances go wrong.
When climbing outdoors, you are likely to reach far heights on the rock wall. Avoid looking at the base because you may feel dizzy, and your balance might go for a toss.

Look for creatures like snakes, lizards, insects, etc., that usually reside in rock crevices. If you encounter any of these, stay calm and alert, and do not provoke them to harm you.

Call for help from your companions if you face any problem when climbing.

Guide to Survive in the Mountains When You are Alone

Mountain climbing is a courageous game, and one that must be practiced with most extreme alert. Discover how you can get by in the mountains, particularly on the off chance that you are separated from everyone else.

If you are planning to spend a few days in the mountain with no company, it’s essential to know the basic survival tips. It’s not just the cold, harsh environment you have to deal with, but the fact that climate in the mountain can change rapidly, to being sunny one moment to foggy and then rainy the very next. Pack wisely, remembering to bring all the bare essentials in your survival kit you will need in the rough weather. All your mountaineering essentials should be durable, easily portable, and you should be able to easily and quickly attach them to your body. Watching TV programs that demonstrate survival tips and techniques and actually experiencing the situation firsthand are two vastly different things. Whether you are a professional mountaineer or a first-timer, follow the strategies below for surviving in the mountains when you are alone.

How to Survive Alone in the Mountains

Backpacking Essentials
The most important part of your backpack is probably the survival kit. Make sure to include the following items in it.

Compass and Map: Know how to read them.

Knife: Don’t just carry along a pocket knife. Bring along a knife that serves several purposes, from being used in chopping and cutting food to some heavy-duty stuff like trimming branches.

Medical Supplies: Carry pain relievers, antacids, antidiarrheal tablets, antiseptic and antibiotic lotions, bandages, gauze pads, sun screen lotions, scissors, ear and eye drops, hydrogen peroxide, needle and thread, etc.

ChapStick and Moisturizer: Weather conditions in higher altitudes can get dry, make sure you keep your skin hydrated.

Hand and Foot Warmers: Do not go to sleep with wet socks on. Get rid of them and put on foot warmers. Do not slide on the foot warmer on top of your wet socks.

Cords and Ropes: They are useful for a variety of purposes, from pitching tents, to harnessing, climbing, and rappelling.
Waterproof Canvas: It can be used to build a shelter.

Flashlight/Candles: These can be used at night, or in very dark conditions, like inside a tent or snow cave.

Fire Starting Equipment: Include matches and lighter.

The other important contents of the backpack include your clothes. Carry enough waterproof clothes for the rains, and warm clothing, including a hat, for the cold conditions. Carry a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the glare of the sun. Carry a whistle for your safety, which can be used to signal in case you lose track. Keep a set of spare batteries.

How to Make Fire

This is something you should be skilled at when surviving alone on a mountain. Learn how to build a campfire. Not only does it protect you from the cold, but you also can use it for cooking, as well as warding off wild animals.

Water Storage and Purification

Carry iodine tablets which will aid you in the process of water purification. A stainless steel canteen is an excellent tool, and doubles up as a food and water storage container, cooking device, and can purify drinking water if used in conjunction with a water purification straw.

Rope Management

Learn the technique of tying various knots which will be useful to you while rappelling. Also learn how to rappel which will be useful in climbing down the mountain. Do not allow the ropes to get wet. Never splice ropes used in mountaineering.

Building a Shelter

Learn how to pitch a temporary tent quickly. For a quick shelter, practice building a lean-to using two adjacent trees, good, strong cord, stakes, and a tarp. Ensure that the lean-to does not face the wind. For added comfort, spread a layer of leaves over the ground inside the lean-to so you do not come in direct contact with the cold ground. If you know you will encounter snowy weather, learn how to build a snow cave. Always make a small hole in the cave before you sleep in it, to minimize the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Safety Precautions

Exercise caution when on the move. Check for the weather before you begin your climb. The higher you go, the more prone you are to solar radiation because of the thinning atmosphere. Be wary of sudden climate change, and do not hesitate to turn back and return for safety reasons. Closely monitor avalanche forecast and take appropriate precautions. Do not set up your camp around potential avalanche, crevasses, or rock slide areas. Maintain a good speed at all times. At night, be diligent when you travel. Bear in mind that rocks can be deceptively wet and slippery. Tread with caution.

Halt when Exhausted

Know your physical limits, signs that your body is signaling you to stop. Recognize signs of exhaustion. Remember you are by yourself, with no one to turn to for help. Give your body enough rest. Be alert to the signs and symptoms of altitude sickness. Gather enough knowledge on conditions like hypothermia and frostbite, so if you fall prey to any one of them, you know how to deal with it. Do not climb past your designated time. Conserve energy, you will need enough of it to make your way back down as well.

Watch Out for Wild Animals

Be informed on how to deal with wild animals, namely coyotes, grizzlies, and mountain lions. Animals generally do not hunt humans, but they may stalk, so be vigilant. Leftover trash and food is the main reason animals approach humans. If you come across an animal in the wild, do not do anything to provoke it further. Leave a good space between the animal and you, keep your calm, till the animal wanders off. Keep a can of bear spray with you, to be on the safer side.

Stay Calm When You’re Lost

If you realize you are lost, do not panic. You may be in a situation where you have separated from your group, and now have to fend for yourself. In such a case, use your whistle. Whistle thrice; it is perceived as a distress call, and in certain conditions, can be heard 4-5 miles away. Do not whistle twice. That means everything is OK!

Be Prepared
Being mentally prepared is as important as being physically prepared when you opt for an adventure of this sort. Keeping your cool, being level-headed, and not rushing to decisions will keep you out of harm’s reach. Be aware of your own limitations and fears. In life-threatening situations, weigh the pros and cons and act accordingly. The knack of anticipating problems will help you in fighting obstacles. Practice all the skills that are vital to your survival, especially when there is no help and you are alone in adverse conditions. Most importantly, you must have the will to survive.
Whether you have ventured out alone, or in a group of friends and are lost, surviving alone in a mountain is certainly an uphill task! Keep your friends and family informed about your whereabouts as much as possible. If possible, try hiking and mountaineering and similar activities in a group. This ensures your safety, and your loved ones need not constantly worry about you.

Tips to Learn Rock Climbing

For most people, just being in the great outdoors is an uplifting experience. Not only does it present an opportunity to revel in the beauty of the natural world around, but also to challenge oneself in numerous ways. The best and most worthy kind of battles we can take on are against the elements. Rock climbing is often considered only for adrenaline junkies, but in reality, it is an adventure sport that most can enjoy. You don’t need to be young or extremely fit to pick up climbing, for there are many who learn rock climbing later on in life. If you are intrigued, know that the ideal way to start off is under the guidance from experienced climbers or in a climbing school. In addition, here are some instructions that will help you along the way.

Warmup and Stretch: One of the worst predicaments while rock climbing is to have calf or any other muscle cramp. To avoid this, and for other reasons, ensure you include a sufficient amount of stretching and warmup exercises before you get started. As stretching improves circulation and flexibility, before you start climbing, spend half an hour getting movement into your muscles and joints, and your heart rate slightly elevated.

Scan the Route: An important skill to develop is to carefully look at the rock patch you plan to scale, and try to visualize the route you will take while climbing it. Identifying hand and toe holds in advance can be a huge help while climbing. Take into consideration your personal strength, weight, balance, reach, and then plan each move through the route.

Grip: A good grip is a vital part of rock climbing. The key to a good grip is to not squeeze or hold tighter than you need to. If you over-grip, you will tire out your forearms fast. A surprising fact is that, often, the muscles you use to grip are the first ones to give in. In fact, squeezing will actually hamper the smoothness and fluidity in your climbing movement. An individual usually tightens his grip when he gets into a tough spot. For this reason, make it a habit to check your grip every time you are in a spot. Once you lose your grip, calm yourself, and then assess your situation to find a way out. In addition, forearm exercises are a good way in which you can develop a good grip.

Balance: Another very important skill for a rock climber is balance. While climbing a rock face, you will be in all kinds of awkward positions, often with your hands and legs spread far apart. Maintaining your balance in these circumstances is crucial. Try to be aware of your center of gravity when you make a climbing move, which will help prevent you from losing your balance. One way to improve your balance is to move over a 60-degree or greater slab and using only your feet. You may use your hands to steady yourself, but do not grip the wall.

Other important tips to keep in mind are to keep your body close to the wall, use your legs to carry your weight and arms for balance, and to take frequent short rests. Apart from these, there are many techniques that you will only learn through practice and from watching good climbers. If you find a rock face intimidating, you can first learn rock climbing a wall in the safety of your gym or similar facility.

Indoor Rock Climbing Tips

Have you joined shake climbing classes at an exercise center or games focus? At that point the tips given in this article will help you ace the action quicker.

If you are someone who is interested in adventure sports or extreme sports, especially something like rock climbing, but cannot take out time to go rock climbing outdoors or live in an area where there is no rock landscape that will allow you to indulge in such an activity, then indoor rock climbing is a very good option for you. There are many people who live in cities and towns, who are opting for indoor rock climbing as an alternative to the outdoor version of the same. While the difficulty level never matches up to the hurdles that you will face outdoors, the practice and the physical exertion are good pros that work in its favor. Using experts tips while pulling yourself up these artificial structures will ensure that you do not hurt yourself. Most of the structures that are used for indoor rock climbing are made to resemble the terrain of mountainous structures, They are generally high walls with holds, and pockets and knobs for footing. Wood is the material that is used mostly to make these structures, while the holds are generally made of plastic. This sport is perfect for beginners, as it allows them to practice the same in an environment that is controlled and under the supervision of trained instructors.

How to Improve Yourself

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is an extremely physically-exerting activity that needs you to be fit. Pay attention to the techniques that will make climbing up easier. Try and always climb the wall with a buddy or in the presence of a trainer or an instructor. When at a class do not get intimidated by the rock climbing lingo that everyone seems to use. Once you understand these different terms, you will be using them as well. There is some important gear that needs to a part of your kit, which include a harness that you can rent at the place where you are climbing, proper shoes, proper clothing that is not very tight, a chalk bag, water, etc.

  • It is extremely important that you perform stretching exercises and warm up before you start climbing an indoor wall. As with any other exercise, rock climbing when your muscles are tight affect your performance.
  • Before you start climbing a wall, it is important that you map out the route that you want to take. This will ensure that you make the right moves while climbing the wall.
  • Do not exert all your forearm strength when you grip to steady your balance, as your forearm is generally the first to tire. Save up on the strength that you put on your grip.
  • Work on improving your sense of balance and work on finding your center of gravity. This will help you balance your movements on the wall. If you keep your body close to the wall, then your center of balance will be more than your center of mass which will lessen the pressure on your grip
  • Use your legs as much as your arms, to ensure that the weight is balanced evenly.
  • Use your arms to balance and shift weight, but not to hold your weight. If you need to use the strength of your upper body, then try and finish that part of the route faster.
  • Work on those muscles that are used the most while rock climbing, as this will ensure that the climber can use his body weight more effectively. Do not try and climb the rock in one go. In fact, map the entire route with rests in between to ensure that you do not exert yourself completely.
  • If you get stuck while climbing the wall, keep encouraging yourself, so as to get over that block. Don’t stress out if you get stuck. You will manage to climb the wall eventually with perseverance.
  • It is important to have correct breathing technique. Breathe from your stomach and through diaphragm. This will relax your body effectively.

When climbing a wall indoor, try different structures every time, or at least different routes so as to not become complacent about your abilities. Push yourself to do it better and faster. If you fall, remember it will only drive you to do better. Learn from other climbers who work on the same structures, as they will be able to give you some good tips that are useful. Even just watching them will teach you more about the techniques that should be used. Rock climbing, whether indoor or outdoor, once learned with proper techniques, is a great sport that can help in building your endurance levels.

How to Packing a Duffel Bag

unduhanNo matter how many bags you got, you always “need” another one! Bags are an obsession, a hobby. But even apart from that, bags are a necessity. It simply does not make sense to carry a suitcase to your friend’s place for the weekend. Also even with a suitcase, you need something smaller to carry things you are going to need on the journey when you embark on a long trip or vacation. A duffel bag is the answer to such situations.

Duffel bags come in all sizes, shapes, and styles too! They are easy-to-carry multipurpose bags that make traveling so much easier. But give one to someone who is not used to duffel bags, and the person will spend an entire day trying to figure out how to pack one! Here are some pointers…

How to Pack a Duffel Bag…

… for a Day
A small duffel bag would be ideal to pack if you are going over to your friend’s place to spend the day together, or if you are going for a sleepover or a pajama party. You would not be carrying any linen or too many clothes if you are going for just one night. But you would be carrying your toiletries, and maybe a little bit of make-up if you plan to head out of the house.

  • Pack your towel and clothes at the bottom – you are not going to need them as soon as you arrive at your friend’s place! Also carry light – pack only one extra set of clothes, and your nightwear.
  • If you are going to carry an extra pair of footwear (oh it so goes with the dress you are going to wear when you go out for dinner!) then carry it in a shoe bag. Duffel bags do not come with shoe bags, so you will have to arrange for one!
  • Carry your toiletries and make-up material in two separate pouches, so you do not make a mess or have to empty the entire bag on your friend’s bed while hunting for the kohl stick!

… for the Weekend
You would need a slightly larger duffel bag when going off to somewhere for an entire weekend. You would or would not carry bedspreads or blankets depending on how you are traveling, how far away the place is, is it a camp or an indoor get-away etc. You would also be carrying more than just one extra set of clothes. Definitely the number of things you would pack would be more.

  • Lay all the linen, bedspreads, blankets etc., at the bottom on the back.
  • Try to carry clothes that you can mix and match – any bottoms with any tops. That way you have lesser things to pack and more room in the bag. Pack the clothes in two stacks above the bottom layer of clothes – bottoms in one stack on one side, tops in another on the other side.
  • Big duffel bags usually have two small compartments on the sides. Use these efficiently. You can pack your make-up and toiletries pouches into one side compartment. Extra pair of footwear can go into the other.

… for a Long Trip
When headed for a long trip, a duffel bag acts more like an accessory bag, with most of your clothes going into a bigger suitcase. Your footwear, your jackets, everything would go into your main suitcase. So your duffel bag may suddenly seem too empty! But there is in fact a lot that can go into it.

  • Carry your money, passport and visa (if you are flying), travel tickets (plane or train, any), and all essential documents that you may have to produce in the course of the journey in your duffel bag.
  • You can carry belongings you will need during the travel in your duffel bag – bottle of water, a book or magazines, a pen, chocolates, chewing gums and mouth fresheners, reading glasses, a hanky or napkin etc. Also carry your medicines in your duffel bag so you can quickly retrieve them as and when the need be. Motion-sickness tablets, tablets for headache, etc., should all go into the duffel bag.
  • Finally, pack the things you are going to need immediately on arrival at your destination in your duffel bag too. This could include things like hotel reservation details, addresses diary etc.

… for a Business Trip
Duffel bags prove to be a real blessing when on a business trip. On a business or official trip, there would be two kinds of belongings you would be carrying – personal and professional/work-related. A leather duffel bag would look rather smart on a business trip. It can also carry a lot of things and in a smart way!

  • Pack your laptop in your duffel bag. It should be the first thing that goes in, and probably also the first thing you are going to need on arrival at your destination. Better have it handy.
  • Carry work related documents in the duffel bag. You can carry them in separate folders so they don’t get mixed up and so they are more organized.
  • Carry all other gadgets in the duffel bag too – CDs, DVDs, pen-drives, extra laptop batteries etc., should all go into the duffel bag.

I hope these tips have got your packing sorted for you! A few general tips I can give are – don’t overpack! Travel light and carry only your essentials, especially if it’s a short trip. As a final tip, I would say make a packing checklist to make sure you are carrying everything you need. Happy journey!

Tips to Pack Your Makeup Bag for Travel

Packing your bags for traveling isn’t the pleasurable activity it used to be, no thanks to the innumerable restrictions that have been imposed upon us in the recent times. Just as you’re through with the maniacal calculation to stay within the baggage weight restriction, out comes the no-sharp-items and the no-carrying-aerosols rule. So out go your tweezers and deodorants; never mind the fact that you may look like a raccoon and smell like a skunk on your holiday.

Apologies for being too dramatic, but there is always a way to packing makeup for a vacation, and we’re about to tell you how.

Tips to Pack Your Makeup Bag for Travel

Only pick the must-haves

Easier said than done, isn’t it? It’s hard for any woman to pick up certain items and leave others out, because you never know when you’ll be in the need for something, right? But seriously, you have to pack your makeup bag wisely to ensure that you’re not lugging around stuff unnecessarily. For instance, a high SPF lip balm counts as an essential for a beach holiday, as opposed to a jar of rejuvenating face mask. It would really help if you make a list of things to carry, keeping in mind the purpose of your trip and the destination.

Emphasize on practicality

No, you don’t need to carry 7 lip colors to a weekend trip. Yes, you can make do with the hair dryer that the hotel provides. No, that neon eye pencil cannot travel with you to the office conference. Place great importance on practicality, and only pack stuff that you honestly need. Beauty gadgets are bulky and heavy, so they’re best left at home. The same applies to certain serums, conditioners, and moisturizers that you surely can live without for a few days.

Think smart

As cosmetic companies continue to dazzle us with their amazingly versatile products, can we afford to ignore them? So pack your eye pencil/lip liner, a lip tint that doubles up as a creamy blush, and a concealer stick that works as a foundation. All-in-one products like BB or CC creams offer the combined benefits of a moisturizer, sunblock, and foundation, so you’ll end up carrying just one tube instead of three. As far as your fave fragrance is concerned, pick up a miniature roll-on when you buy a bottle, and save it for your trips.

Say no to bulk

Bulk comes in the form of makeup brushes, as each serves just one purpose. These brushes also need delicate handling, which is rather cumbersome if you’re backpacking. Dismiss their inclusion by carrying to-be-applied-directly products like sticks or creams. Again, going by the previous point, stress on carrying versatile products. And if you absolutely cannot do without your makeup brushes, purchase a travel-sized kit to carry along.

Dramatically downsize

If your stay happens to be longish, you’ll surely be yearning for your staples in a few days’ time. To combat the separation anxiety, carry miniature versions of your must-haves. Most cosmetic makers offer travel kits of their best sellers, so stock these if you’re a jet-setter. You can also purchase a set of small bottles or jars, and transfer your favorite lotions and potions into them instead of carrying those huge containers. Ziploc bags may also serve the purpose.

Don’t get roomy

Just get yourself a really tiny, wallet-sized pouch to carry all your makeup goodies, and force yourself to fit in everything you need in there. If you honestly manage to do this, it means that you’ve actually followed every point mentioned here, and this entire operation has been a rip-roaring success!

Never get caught unawares

The second Sex and the City movie showed us how the Samantha Jones had to let go of her various potions at the customs just as she lands in Abu Dhabi. Well, if quirky (read: non-branded) products are your thing, you have to make sure that you’re allowed to carry them to the country you’re visiting. If you’re doing so for medical reasons, you should carry detailed prescriptions along with you. Most countries maintain a list of import restrictions on their embassy website, so do check it out before you begin packing.

So, with all this in mind, I’m sure that packing your makeup bag isn’t exactly going to be a dream. But suck it up, we have to, because rules are rules, after all. Get past it, and have the time of your life on your next holiday.