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Essential Principles and Tips for Mountaineering

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Before You Climb: Important Things to Keep in Mind”

Mountaineering is one of the most popular and enjoyable forms of nature tourism. At the same time, it is an attractive and challenging sport that not only offers you the great pleasure of watching open horizons but also plays a vital role in maintaining and improving your mental and physical health.

Climbing to the top of the mountain and experiencing its beauty and glory requires following a series of principles that make hiking and climbing safer, more comfortable, and endlessly more enjoyable.

Regardless of whether you go hiking alone or in a group, or if you choose nature and tourism tours for this purpose, climbing can be an excellent experience. However, such a positive result ultimately depends on your level of preparation and awareness. So, don’t miss reading this article to gain all you can from mountaineering.

Climbing Rules

These are the three general rules our Iran Tours guides always relate to travelers who want to try out climbing any mountain or peak. According to the three golden rules, your destination is always further, taller, and harder to reach than it appears, so you should plan and prepare accordingly.

First rule: It’s always further than it looks

Climbing long routes can require anywhere from eight to 12 hours per day, contingent upon unpredictable weather conditions. On routes involving snow and ice, the challenges may far exceed your initial expectations.

In addition, adverse weather conditions are more likely on long routes, so climbers’ level of preparedness and realism is fundamental. Climbing is not just physical work! So while improving your skills, don’t climb based on emotions. When you climb a peak and happily take pictures, remember that the real celebration is when you come back safe and sound. So the team members should not neglect the hardships of the work and lose their focus. For example, excessive fatigue of people should not lead to injury, which practically eliminates the possibility of climbing to the peak.

Second rule: It’s always taller than it looks

Regardless of whether you are climbing Everest or any other peak, you should know there are several steps to the summit, and after reaching the base camp, you should go to the next camp and so on until you reach the summit. The peak is higher than it looks, and you should not rush to climb it.

When you enter the altitude, the symptoms of altitude sickness may come to you; It happens to every climber, and in this case, you should raise this issue with your leader and be patient to get accustomed to the conditions. In many cases, people set aside a few days for physical fitness.

Third rule: It’s always harder than it looks

Train as much as you can for a climbing trip; However, the main preparation comes through experience, and one’s behavior in a dangerous situation can be decisive.

Climbing programs provide beginners with the opportunity to acquire essential climbing skills and techniques under the guidance of experienced experts. Therefore, it is imperative to undergo thorough training and proper preparation before attempting a climb. This underscores the fact that climbing is often more challenging than one might initially perceive.

Principles of mountaineering

For climbing, you must have a vast amount of experience, skill, and physical and mental preparation to be able to achieve success. Among the principles of mountaineering, we can mention rope work, rock and ice climbing, meteorology, mountain clothing, crossing the glacier, etc.

Preparation and planning: set a time to climb and be prepared for any conditions. For this purpose, read the reports about the route and see the pictures of the route. Talk to people who have done this climb. Consider the required equipment thoroughly. Always plan to allow enough time for rest, unforeseen events, and getting back down.

Physical and mental preparation: first of all, you must make sure that you have the ability for this trip; otherwise, there is a possibility of an accident and failure in your plans. Climbing is a sport that is not limited to training and mental concentration and requires its equipment and tools. As a result, prepare a list of travel essentials according to the season, time, program level, etc.

Climbing shoes: choose your shoes according to the season; For example, hiking shoes are more suitable for climbing in the summer season, and winter shoes should have enough resistance to the cold weather, and you can attach icebreakers or crampons to them.

Nutrition: Foods with high calories and low volume are preferred. Dry fruits (raisins), energy-generating materials (chocolate and oatmeal), edible jellies, candies, cream biscuits, etc., are excellent options for climbing. Since you need energy while climbing, low-calorie foods are not suitable for this activity.

Checking the weather: Before embarking on-mountain activities such as climbing or skiing, it’s crucial to check the weather forecast. While mountain regions are prone to storms and heavy snowfall, these conditions can pose significant risks and even make descending from high elevations a daunting challenge.

Emergency shelter: since there is a possibility of an emergency overnight stay (bivouac) in the mountains, carry a bivouac bag, tent, and rescue blanket with you.

Emergencies: Being prepared for unpredictable conditions is one of the principles of mountaineering. With the above practice, you can automatically take action. In an emergency, keep calm. Examine the situation and determine if the group can handle it or if outside help is needed. If needed, contact reliable help sources and ask for help. If someone is injured, move them to a shelter; Keep them warm and provide them with water if needed. If the person is suspected of having a spinal cord injury, do not shake him.

2 p.m. rule: according to this rule, every climber must return to the bottom before 2 p.m., wherever he is on the route. This law does not recognize seasons and months! So, for your program to go according to plan, climb at the optimal speed and have enough preparation for this issue. In addition, you must be able to climb for several hours with a backpack of about five kilos at a speed of at least 400 meters per hour. Sleep early the night of the program to start your ascent early in the morning. Also, with fewer people, you can have better time efficiency.

Preserving nature and cooperating with other climbers: One of the most essential principles of climbing is communicating with other team members. In addition, you should not stop on the slopes; Because the way of climbing for other members of the group is blocked. Listen to nature instead of music. Since headphones reduce awareness of the mountain situation, refrain from using them. Do not leave anything of your own and take your waste and rubbish down with you. Do not damage the existing vegetation.

Familiarity with the climbing destination: If you have no familiarity or sufficient information about a mountain, do not climb it. For this purpose, joining a reliable team with complete information about the mountain in question is better.

Obey the team leader: Always obey the team leader and follow their orders. Do not separate from the group and do not leave the specified path; this behavior can lead to your loss.

Among other principles of mountaineering, we can mention the following:

  • First of all, make sure you have gathered all the necessary equipment and have a whistle and flashlight with you.
  • Do not go to the mountain alone and follow the marked paths.
  • Tell your family, friends, and shelters about your hiking route.
  • Never use a bag instead of a backpack.
  • Start setting up your tent and camp before dark if you plan to spend the night.
  • Be sure to have a first aid kit with you.
  • In addition to good physical and mental fitness, the people in the group should be at the same level regarding age and fitness.
  • At least a third-grade mountaineering instructor must accompany each climbing group.
  • Your steps should be shoulder width apart; inhale with one step, and exhale with the other.
  • Move in a zigzag pattern on steep slopes and uphills to break the path’s slope.
  • It’s essential to maintain a forward-leaning posture during the ascent and shift your weight backward when descending.
  • Avoid carrying glass containers in your backpack; Because there is a possibility of the bag breaking and tearing.

Additional Tips About Climbing

Plan a climbing program: For one-day or multi-day climbing, you must plan your goal and destination based on the distance traveled for each day, the experience and skill and physical fitness of the team members, equipment, location, weather, etc. Next, according to the financial ability and experience of the team, plan the necessary equipment and travel plan. Preferably, take someone with complete information about the area with you or get the required information from people who have already been to the site.

Professional packing for climbing: In the first step, put all your things in a plastic bag and then put it in a backpack; In this way, if your backpack is not waterproof, the possibility of things getting wet is zero. In addition, distribute the necessary items depending on their weight in different parts of the bag to prevent one part from being empty and another part from becoming heavy. If the backpack’s weight is more than your body weight, It damages the spine and knees. Pack food and water in a plastic bag, then put them in your backpack. Place sharp objects in the bottom of the bag so that they do not touch your shoulders and back. Also, place the items in the upper part of the bag as needed, and do not take unnecessary items.

Mountaineering in spring and summer: During autumn and winter, be vigilant about abrupt weather changes and the risk of avalanches. Take the weather conditions seriously and be prepared for any unexpected challenges.

Breathing in the mountains: While climbing, you should breathe deeply and slowly and inhale through the nose; Because breathing through the mouth causes dryness of the throat, thirst, and cold weather leads to colds and suppuration of the tonsils. Your heart rate should not be too high. In addition, temporary breaks should not last more than 11 to 15 minutes; Because the body gets cold little by little and becomes dry.

Movement and execution of the program: As a climber, you must divide your energy into three parts: climbing energy, reserve energy, and descending energy. Move at a steady, even pace so you can go for hours without breaking a sweat or needing to stop. Avoid rushing uphill and move in spirals and short steps on steep slopes.

Prevention of disease: Using suitable and windproof clothes while climbing and staying dry is critical in this sport. In no way should you tire yourself to such an extent that it drains your body’s energy, So be sure to set aside time for rest and rejuvenation. Proper nutrition with energetic and warm food and drinking enough water are essential points in mountaineering. Using drugs such as codeine, sedatives, or too much coffee is not recommended.

Water and salt consumption in mountaineering: Water plays a fundamental role in every mountaineering expedition. In a climbing program where the body is constantly active and sweating, it needs a lot of water, which can vary between four and six liters. So drink some water at every break. A dry mouth is a severe warning of dehydration! In winter programs, many inexperienced people do not carry water with them, under the misconception that they do not sweat in cold weather and therefore do not need to drink water. If the lack of water in the body can destroy your ability to recognize, and if this issue continues and when the lack of water is equal to 11% of your weight, it will threaten your life seriously.

Drinks like coffee and tea are not suitable substitutes for water; Because they play an essential role in eliminating water from the body and because caffeine causes insomnia and heart rhythm disturbances. During sweating, in addition to water, body salts are also lost, and the fastest way to solve this problem is to consume a small amount of salt. Salt helps to stabilize the abnormal heart rate, regulate blood pressure, maintain the balance of blood sugar levels, provide the body with the necessary energy, improve the function of nerve cells, absorb nutrients, etc.

Appropriate clothing: Choosing the right clothing is directly related to your health in the mountains. You need a total of three layers of clothing for climbing. The first layer includes clothes such as shirts, comfortable and thin gloves, cotton underwear, hats, and socks that are in direct contact with the skin. The second layer is synthetic wool or fleece clothes, which should keep you warm. In one-day hiking tours when the weather is not cold, this wool layer can be removed. The third layer of clothing is to protect against humidity, wind, rain, cold and stormy weather, for which a jacket, pants, Goretex gloves, and a light windbreaker will be suitable. In rainy areas, the poncho is an efficient garment. On one-day tours with sunny weather, a windbreaker, a heater and a pair of cool clothes are enough.

Mat: Take a mat with you so that you don’t get wet or bothered while sitting on the ground or the side of the mountain. For two-day or more climbing, you need a professional underlay; Otherwise, a plain cloth will do. In addition, in multi-day programs that involve overnight stays in tents and sleeping bags, a suitable mattress can be considered the most important factor for a peaceful sleep. Even the best and warmest sleeping bags won’t protect you from the cold at night without a properly insulated underlay.

Climbing for Complete Amateurs

When embarking on one-day mountaineering trips, a lightweight backpack is essential, and roller backpacks prove to be an ideal choice. These fabric bags are exceptionally lightweight and can be conveniently rolled up once they are emptied. It is advisable to opt for a waterproof bag, even if your climbing plans are scheduled for the summer season, as weather conditions can be unpredictable in mountainous terrain.

Skincare products are essential for mountaineering, especially in summer. Before leaving the house and starting the trip, be sure to use sunscreen and reapply it every few hours. A wide-brimmed sun hat to prevent sunburn, standard sunglasses to protect the eyes, a small folding umbrella with a bright color to deal with the sun and sudden rain, a neck scarf to prevent neck burns, etc. They are considered skin care.

For short hikes, make sure there is drinking water along the way. In addition to a bottle of water, take twice as much water as needed to reach the first stop, so that you don’t run into problems in unexpected situations. It is better to have snacks such as dates, bread, nuts, chocolate, and raisins with you to satisfy hunger and prevent blood pressure from dropping. Don’t forget a small first aid kit and essential medicines so that you can make a pleasant nature trip for yourself.

Since a one-day hiking trail may make you tired, you can use a hiking stick to help you balance and relieve fatigue on difficult trails.

Have a fully charged light power bank, charger, ID card, credit card, and some cash in your travel gear.

Take a camera, battery, and external memory with you, and if you want to take pictures with your mobile phone, empty its memory in advance.

If in addition to climbing mountains, you enjoy climbing dunes we have you covered with our Iran Desert Tours​.

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