How to Become a Mountain Climber?

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Mountain Climber

It is not how much and how well you do, but how much love and affection you put in doing.” – Bachendri Pal, the First Woman to Climb Mount Everest
Imagine walking in icy winds with your hands shivering on the snow-covered mountains wearing a bright coloured trekking suit. Sounds mesmerising! Isn’t it? But pursuing a career as a mountaineer goes beyond the adventurous strive as it imparts you with various valuable life lessons and skills like teamwork, resilience, perseverance and most importantly mastering your physical strengths and well-being. Think about those young boys and men called Sherpas whom you meet before trekking to the Mount Everest who actually earn their livelihood working as guides for mountaineers. If you are passionate about a career in mountaineering, it will take more than just gearing up for a trek to Mount Everest! Read this blog to know about how to become a Mountain Climber and gear up with you trekking suit to climb this challenging yet rewarding career path.

Types of Mountaineering 

The glass-shattering venture of Bachendri Pal into this male dominant adventure sport has ignited the zeal to conquer great heights in all the mountain lovers. Mountaineering is simply defined as the sport involving climbing of rocky and snowy mountains. Before we go on and explore how you can become a mountain climber, let’s first learn about the various types of mountaineering-

  • Alpine Climbing: Alpine climbing is all about climbing over the mountains which are rocky in nature and consists of massive rocks. Such Mountains are generally lower in elevation and you will need anchor materials, ropes, harness, trad gear, etc for climbing such mountains. 
  • Glaciated Peaks: The mountains that are covered in snow throughout the year come under this category. For climbing such glaciated mountains and peaks, you will need special training of glacier travel along with a unique set of tools like snow anchors, ropes, crampons, ice axe, etc 
  • Scrambling: The climbing of mountains that are shorter in nature and do not require much supervision along with high and equipment is known as scrambling. Scrambling can be easily completed with a regular helmet and knee pads. 
  • High-Altitude Climbing: Climbing of mountains that are above 18,000 ft comes under this category. Mountain climbers targeting such mountains must be skilled in rock as well as snow climbing.

Skills Required to Become a Mountain Climber

Mountaineering is a skill-based field and requires a climber to have a vast set of varied life skills. For all those who are gearing up for becoming one, here are some skills that you must have- 

  • Physical and Mental Strength
  • Patience 
  • Leadership 
  • Determination
  • Critical Thinking Abilities 
  • Love for Heights 
  • Perseverance 

Step-by-Step Guide for Becoming a Mountain Climber 

Courtesy: Giphy

Unlike other career fields, neither does one need a professional qualification nor there is a set pathway to pursue a career in this. Some out of their passion and curiosity for climbing and hiking opt for this career, whereas some are all geared up for experiencing that once in a lifetime journey to their own defined Everest. Here are some of the essential steps you must ensure to become a mountain climber”

Fitness Requirements

The first ‘tick’ on your check-list must be for your physical fitness. Having a healthy body is one of the primary requirements that are necessary for this field. This means building on your body strength to endure higher temperatures as well as ensuring your persistence and sturdiness to sustain a longer hike or trek. Start working on your body and set a target. By exercising daily get habitual of high-intensity workout. Make sure you incorporate a balanced diet along with the exercise. Being able to climb for 8-10 hours is not something you will get to learn overnight, thus, keep on working towards your long-term goal.

Mountaineering Courses

Once you have started working on building physical strength, you can pursue varied mountaineering courses alongside. These mountaineering courses will equip you with the knowledge of trekking and mountain climbing and will gear you up with the ways to tackle the situations that may come up while climbing. Some courses also cover climbing techniques over snow and ice including glacier hiking and self-arrest. Along with this, by pursuing mountaineering courses, you can earn professional certification or diploma which is necessary for becoming a trek or mountaineering guide. Here are some top courses that you can pursue if to become a mountain climber:

Courses Abroad  Institute
Bamboo – Everest Base Camp Fundraising Trek Bamboo
Volcano Hiking Expedition (8 Days) Worldaway Learning Tours
Climb Huayna Potosi 20,000 feet – Andean Ascents Andean Ascents
Lanin Volcano Ascent Andestrack Expediciones
Climbing and Mountaineering in the Swiss Alps Outdoor Leadership Camps, Switzerland
Institute Mountaineering Courses in India
Indian Mountaineering Foundation Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) -Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)
-Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMC)
-Method of Instruction(MOI)
-Search And Rescue(SAR)
Nehru Institute of Mountaineering  -Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC)
-Advanced Mountaineering Course (AMC)
-Search And Rescue(SAR)
-Training Program 2020
-Adventure Course 
-Method of Instruction 
-Special Course 
-Skiing Course
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute  -Adventure Course 
-Basic Course 
-Advanced Course 

Apart from these institutes, here are some more mountaineering institutions that avail similar courses- 

  • Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports,  Himachal Pradesh
  • National Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports,  Arunachal Pradesh 
  • Indian Institute of skiing and mountaineering, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Pandit Nain Singh Surveyor Mountaineering training institute, Uttarakhand
  • High Altitude Welfare School, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Sonam Gyatso Mountaineering Institute, Sikkim 

All those who aspire to make their way through to the above mentioned or likely Mountaineering courses in India or abroad must know that under the eligibility criteria the educational background is not taken into consideration instead candidates have to undergo a medical test and prove their physical fitness and strength.

Set a Target 

Courtesy: Fanpop

The next step towards becoming a mountain climber would be setting up a target. Gauge out which type of terrain like granite faces, glaciated mountains, technical route, mixed climbing, etc. you would like to start with. While setting up a target for climbing, the main parameter that is put into consideration is the height. Begin by conquering smaller targets rather than setting up a higher one. Once you are comfortable climbing the type of terrain chosen, go on and explore more options in climbing. After familiarizing yourself with the common types of terrain, you can try your hands on various types of mountaineering.

Acquire the Gear 

Before getting into the shoes of a mountain climber, one must know that it is necessary to be fully equipped with the right set of equipment, clothing as well as various essential tools that are extremely helpful while climbing. Mountaineering can be done while wearing a specific set of clothing that is made from special fabrics which keep the climber warm. Use the right set of socks and boots along with a normal size backpack that can fit all your essentials. Helmet, harness, long rope are some of the mandatory items that you must have. Food cans, first aid kit along with the torch or headlamp is also necessary owing to the severe circumstances that one may face while climbing. 

Career in Mountaineering 

To begin your career in Mountaineering, you can take part in more and more treks and expeditions, through which you will level up your skill of mountain climbing. By taking part in likely events you might come across the type of climbing in which you want to pursue. Here are some of the popular mountaineering expeditions across the globe:

  • Mt. Everest Expedition
  • Mt. Deo Tibba Expedition 
  • Mt. Hanuman Tibba Expedition 
  • Black Peak Expedition
  • Mt. CB 12 and Mt. CB 14 Expedition 
  • Mt. Gangotri 3 Expedition
  • Makalu Expedition
  • Nuptse Expedition
  • Ama Dablam Expedition
  • Pumori Expedition
  • Baruntse Expedition

Generally, people believe that the sponsored mountain climbing is the only opportunity that one may come across after entering this field, but these days many exciting career opportunities are found in this sport. Mentioned below are some of the common career options in Mountaineering:

  • Climbing gear representative 
  • Mountain climber 
  • Climbing photographer 
  • Mountaineering guide 
  • Climbing guide for the instructor
  • Climbing Ranger 
  • Sponsored Rock climber
  • Climbing writer

Thus, we hope that after reading this career guide about how to become a mountain climber, you are all set to become one. Are you facing difficulties in making the right career choices? Our experts at Leverage Edu are here to guide you taking the right decision by evaluating your interest and choices. Sign up for a free session with us today!

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