Avoid these 9 Newbie Mountaineering Mistakes

Avoid these 9 Newbie Mountaineering Mistakes

Mountaineering rules and etiquette are often forgotten or not given due consideration. Ignoring climbing and mountaineering etiquette can place you and your group in danger 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 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’s essential to bring the right equipment along. Otherwise, you may find your endeavors difficult or impossible. If you must borrow a team member's gear, it could slow your group down and become an annoyance to others.


If you intend to go mountaineering, it's a good idea to have your health checked first. It's no fun having your knees give way or suffering from shortness of breath halfway up a mountain.

You'll 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 halfway up the mountain that you cannot go on, you are likely to upset other team members who may have to go back down with you.


One of the joys of mountaineering is the beauty the environment provides. Local wildlife, flora, and fauna can’t thrive; however, if you don't respect their habitat by ensuring to 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 negatively. Pick up other people's litter, which has been discarded, but do not leave any behind.


If you’re part of a mountaineering team, no doubt there will be a leader in charge. Try to respect your leader’s guidance and abide by their rules. Trust among a mountaineering team is critical to the success and safety of the team. If you’re feeling contemptuous toward your mountaineering guide, it’s likely you don’t trust them and shouldn’t be placing your safety in their hands by climbing with their team in the first place.


When climbing with a team, be considerate. Even if you are much faster or more experienced than another team member, don't 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're particularly late, you may cause panic as well as unnecessary and costly SAR efforts, taking rescuers away from more critical work.

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