Here’s Why Mountain Climbing Can Enrich Your Soul

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 happiness.

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 general.

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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The featured image is a photo by Charlotte Karlsen found on Unsplash

Have you been mountain climbing while travelling? Share your favourite places to climb in the comments below!

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