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Avoid these 9 Newbie Mountaineering Mistakes

Mountaineering rules and etiquette are often forgotten or not given due consideration. Not paying attention to them can place you in danger, put other people out or spoil the beauty and health of the natural environment. If you plan to go mountaineering, being mindful of such considerations can make your trip more successful and less damaging.


Planning ahead

Before you make your way towards a mountain make sure you have researched exactly where you are going, including the trail you plan to follow, and inform officials. If you do not return when you should at least someone will be aware of your location and you will have a good idea about the best route to take as you travel.



It is essential to take the right equipment with you. If you do not you may find your endeavors difficult or impossible, or at best you may have to borrow a team members equipment. This will slow you all down and prove to be an annoyance to others.



If you intend to go mountaineering, it is sensible to have your health checked first. It will be no fun finding out that your knees give way or you suffer from shortness of breath when half way up a mountain.

You will benefit from making sure you have adequate health and safety insurance in case you need to call emergency services while up a mountain. Rescue teams, equipment and helicopter airlifts are expensive.



It is not sensible to go mountaineering unless you have been training to do so first. Keeping fit when not climbing will stand you in good stead for the level of fitness required. Should you discover you get halfway towards your destination and cannot go on, you are likely to upset other team members who may have to go back down the mountain with you.



One of the joys of mountaineering is the beauty the environment provides. Wildlife, and local flora and fauna will not thrive however, if you do not respect them by making sure you do not inadvertently damage them. Leave chemical products at home and only take environmentally friendly ones with you. Also, remember to take away your trash and not to alter the environment in a negative fashion. Pick up other people’s litter which has been discarded, but do not leave any behind.



If you are part of a mountaineering team, no doubt there will be a leader in charge. Try to respect their guidance and abide by their rules. If you are unable to do this, you probably do not trust them and so should not put your safety in their hands by climbing with them anyway.



When climbing with a team be considerate. Even if you are much faster or more experienced than another team member do not leave them behind to struggle. You were once in their shoes. Instead, encourage them, praise them when they do well and teach them when appropriate.


Going back to base

Make sure you arrive back at base close to the date and time you are expected. If you are particularly late you may cause panic, and a rescue team may be launched. This will cost money and take rescuers away from work that is more important or free time they value.

Most mountaineering rules and etiquette relate to common sense and pleasant manners. By adhering to them, you will be more likely to remain safe while having a good time. You will also leave a location that remains a wonderful place to return to one day.