On Basic Mountaineering Course

There’s no better teacher than experience.

Even mountaineers who have gone to no formal Mountaineering Course could attest to the wisdom of an experience.

It makes you think when you have already experienced shivering, getting lost, getting hungry and all that.

While on exile – here’s some thought before the big climb day. But before the meat, get a taste of the soup:

TheTOP 10 Mountains to Climb in your LIFETIME.

#01 Mount Pico De Loro, 664 meters above sea level, In Maragondon, Cavite. Level I Mountain.
#02 Mount Daguldol, 670 meters above sea level, In Hugom, San Juan, Batangas. Level I Mountain.
#03 Mount Pinatubo, 1,486 meters above sea level, trail via Capas, Tarlac. Level II Mountain.
#04 Mount Ugu, 2,086 meters above sea level, In Itogon, Benguet. Level III Mountain.
#05 Mount Pulag, 2,930 meters above sea level, In Kabayan, Benguet. Level I Mountain with Level III trails.
#06 Mount Mariveles, 1,288 meters above sea level, In Mariveles, Bataan. Level II Mountain.
#07 Mount Kitanglad, 2,938 meters above sea level, In Sumilao or Lantapan, Bukidnon. Level III Mountain.
#08 Mount Apo, 2,954 meters above sea level, In Digos or Kidawapan City. Level III Mountain.
#09 Mount Kanla-on, 2,465 meters above sea level, In Guintubdan or Wasay. Level III Mountain.
#10 Mount Guiting-Guiting, 2,057 meters above sea level, In Sibuyan Island, Romblon. Level IV Mountain.

I guess you know what the list means. 🙂

On Preparing for a CLIMB, take good note of the following:
#01 The Physical FITNESS of the participants. This would include endurance training through aerobic sports such as RUNNING, SWIMMING, CYCLING AND WALKING. The perfect supplement for aerobic sports is weight training. A sick climber is a liability to the group.
#02 Set a Pre-Climb Meeting. Plan the Climb. Discuss the different components. The lack of preparation has made a lot of potentially great climbs in total disaster. Budget? Meals? Trail’s Terrain? Attire? Temperature/Humidity?
#03 The Climb’s Organization. That is, who takes to be the Leader, The Medic, The Scribe, The Tailman. Yes, there should be a contact person left in the low lands provided with the Itinerary of the Climb and is responsible for activating a Search and Rescue Operation if not contacted within 24 hours of ETA/ETD.

On Trail Meals.
Trail Meals are helpful in eliminating hunger and exhaustion during trekking. It can even act as your main meal if you fail to eat during meal time due to delayed itineraries. It (the trail meal) should be able to meet 3 requirements:
#01 It should not induce thirst, since it would induce the climber to consume more water.
#02 Nutritious and must satisfy you body’s energy requirements. Sweets in general, meet this criteria but may require some catabolic conversions before your body can use it as a fuel.
#03 Easy to prepare and should require little or no cooking at all. Time and fuel constraints must be considered.
Sample TRAIL FOODS: crackers, nuts, candies, chocolates, fresh or dried fruits, corn flakes, and pre-packed gelatines.

On Trail Movement.

Group Formation
Some conventions are followed. Some simply just dont.
#01 The lead man is always in front, and is responsible for pacing the group, while the tail man is responsible for bringing up the rear.
#02 Line formation on narrow trails should be single file. Overtaking should be avoided.
#03 The ideal distance between two (2) climbers is approximately two (2) meters. This gap will give climbers some space in which to negotiate the trail and proceed along the group’s pace.

Trail Signals
#01 The signal for stopping is one long whistle blasts. To Commence – two (2) short whistles.
#02 The lead and the tail men are the only one’s who can give order to stop or to proceed.
#03 The international mountaineering distress signal is six (6) blasts to a minute. To signal aid is on the way, give three (3) blasts to a minute.

#01 Always start with a slow pace to slowly warm-up your muscles. Then gradually change your pace to the group’s desired pace.
#02 The pace of the group should be that of the slowest member or the person who has the heaviest load.
#03 Do not allow anyone to lag behind.
#04 Just inform the lead or tail man to give the appropriate order to stop if there’s a need to stop.
#05 Maintain a steady rhythm while trekking. When negotiating steep slopes, keep the rhythm (pace) by shortening your strides. On level ground, maintain the rhythm by taking longer strides.

Trail Techniques
#01 The ridge line is most often followed in path finding. Avoid water lines and gullies since water always takes the steepest route down the mountain.
#02 When crossing rivers or streams, bend your knees and face in a direction diagonal to the flow of the current to prevent the strong ones from knocking you down. Unfasten your hipbelt and sternum strap when crossing rivers and streams – whether a log bridge, over rocks or through the water itself. This will allow you to remove your backpack quickly in case you lose your balance or fall into the water. backpacks tend to float, forcing you under water.
#03 Do not step on obstacles for they might upset your balance. Avoid dislodging rocks.
#04 To maintain balance and traction during decent, learn to dig first with your heel or the side of your foot.
#05 When there is a need to hold on roots or vines, make sure first that they are sturdy enough to carry yor weight and that they do not have any thorns.

Guide on Rests:
#01 On Level ground, five (5) minutes for every hour of hiking
#02 Ascents, five (5) minutes for every thirty (30) minutes of hiking. But on steep slopes, five (5) minutes for every fifteen (15) minutes of hiking.
#03 Descents, five (5) minutes for every hour of hiking.
Note: During rest periods, do not sit or lie down at one. Keep standing at least thirty (30) seconds to allow your pulse to slow down to normal levels before sitting down. When resting, sip your water if you are thirsty. Drinking too much quickly will induce an abrupt lowering of your body temperature. Check your equipment before pack-up time and heed the signal of the lead man.

Trail Regulations
#01 When trailblazing, avoid the indiscriminate cutting of vegetation. Keep trailblazing to a minimum. Preserve the natural state of the wilderness. Inform the person behind you of imminent obstacles or dangers along the path.
#02 When the group is unsure of the proper path toward the objective, several members should scout for the right trail or path.
#03 Side trails not in use should be closed to prevent others from using them. This can be done by blocking the path with sticks or branches.
#04 To make the path safer for hikers following you, cut sharp thorns and poisonous plants along the trail.
#05 Pocket all food wrappers. Do not LITTER.
#06 Smoking on the trail or during short rests is strongly discouraged.
#07 Straps, flaps, belts and knots may come loose during the trek. It is the duty of the person behind you to inform you if you had dropped anything on the trail.
#08 If you get lost, do not panic. Assess your position and then take the necessary steps to find the correct route.
#09 In the event of an accident, keep the casualty comfortable and relaxed. Administer first-aid and transfer the person to the nearest clinic or hospital.

Basic Climbing Essentials

    Dog Tag and Whistle
    Earth Pad
    Flash Light
    Folding Knife
    Fuels for the Stove
    Lighter and Matches
    Mess Kit and Drinking Cup
    Notebook and Pencil
    Plastic Bags and Trash Bags
    Packed Lunch
    Rain Gear/Poncho
    Repair Kit
    Rice and Eggs
    Rubber Bands/Garters
    Sleeping Bag
    Spoon and Fork
    Sun Protection
    Survival Kit
    Trail Food
    Trail Water
    Tying String
    Wind Breaker
    Water Containers

This is quite a long read…but it all makes sense. I hope you get what I mean. 🙂


3 thoughts on “On Basic Mountaineering Course

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