A compelling quote by naturalist and preservationist John Muir that says it all for many outdoor lovers, an adventure in the mountains can offer more than just an escape from the humdrum of modern life.
“The mountains are calling, and I must go”
– John Muir
Combing physical exercise with elevated views of some of the world’s most picturesque landscapes, scaling a challenging peak can have multiple benefits for those who reach the top.
The physical health benefits are huge
I’m sure you can appreciate that regardless of its
altitude, climbing a mountain requires a certain level of general fitness. Active
people are often both happy and healthy people. Whether you’re just starting
out and need to train to tackle your first climb, or you’re a seasoned
professional who loves the thrill of the summit, people who take up mountain
climbing benefit from improved physical health.
There’s a comradery like no other amongst climbers
All serious climbers know that when they’re out on a
mountain they have a responsibility to themselves and the people they’re with
to maintain a certain code of conduct and ethics. That being said, because of
the risks involved when mountain climbing the activity bonds groups of people
who tackle challenging peaks whether they fail or succeed.
Exercising outdoors can boost your mental health
There are a whole
heap of studies that show the correlation between being outside in the
natural world, taking regular exercise in this environment, and improved mental
health. Along with better sleep, happier moods, and the ability to better
manage stress and anxiety, mountain climbing is one way to boost feelings of
You’ll learn patience and perseverance
As you’ll no doubt have guessed, mountain climbing
isn’t always as simple as starting at the bottom and hiking to the top. Much
like day to day life, on route there are often challenges that may make it
difficult to reach the summit as planned. However, by working as a team and
overcoming the obstacles you face you can find a new path to success, learning
the value of patience and perseverance along the way.
You can leave your troubles at base camp
When you throw on a pair of climbing trousers and
pack supplies in your kit bag you can choose to leave behind any thoughts or
feelings that have been weighing on your mind. When you’re out on the mountain
it’s just you and Mother Nature.
It will teach you to be prepared
Preparation is key when scaling a mountain and with climbing, this isn’t just in relation to equipment.
Sure, you need to have the right kit – always use technical clothing (depending on the conditions you may be able to use lightweight options like these TruSpec Pants or these mountaineering tents) and pack ample supplies. However, you’ll also need to take into account weather and terrain conditions, as well as the ability of your team when planning your route.
Read more adventure travel guides from Wanderlusters
Each peak will push your limits
It’s pretty much expected that each new peak will
throw up some sort of challenge that you’ll have to problem solve or navigate
through in order to reach the top. Whether it’s a mental block you’re trying to
overcome, or a physical boundary you have to cross, each peak will push your
limits and challenge you to come out fighting.
It will teach you to adapt to change
Whether it’s a rapidly changing climate or demanding
terrain the alpine environment is often unpredictable, and climbers must be
able to adapt to changing conditions. This ability to adapt at short notice is
a valuable life skill that can help you as you navigate new events and relationships.
Spectacular summit views will show you why we need
to protect our environment
Climate change is a hot topic at the moment and will
remain at the forefront of global news for years to come, so it’s easy to see how
views from the world’s highest peaks can inspire
a sense of responsibility to ensure a positive future for our planet.
Climbing a peak can help you find focus
Any challenge can help you to find focus in your
life. By giving you something to strive for, a goal to achieve, mountain
climbing can bring about a more balanced and considered approach to life in
Every mountain will teach you something new
Climbers often say that every mountain teaches them something new. Whether it’s something monumental like improving their self-confidence, or simply something as basic as the importance of maintaining dry footwear when hiking, every peak has a lesson in store for those who take on its challenging summit.
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