Mountaineering :

Mountains have always been a challenge to the spirit of man and man has always accepted that challenge. The loftier a mountain the greater has been the desire of man to conquer to climb to its highest peak and to enjoy the thrilled victory. Nearly all the mountains of the world have now been conquered by the persistence and perservance of man. Even Mount Everest cannot now claim to be invulnerable having already been scaled several times. Several expeditions were orgnaised to negotiate this highest mountain peak in the world and more of them have been successful.

Life offers a multitudinous variety to temperaments. Some people are fascinated by a dangerous enterprise. Danger to them is the very breath of life and they feed on the delight which they experience in overcoming it. Mountaineering appeals to such men because it makes the heaviest demands upon their courage, perseverance and powers of endurance. That it is a dangerous sport cannot be denied. As one climbs higher and higher the air becomes more and more rarified and therefore breathing becomes more and more difficult. To obviate this some climbers now carry a heavy apparatus from which they can inhale the necessary oxygen. The climber finds it really hazardous because at any moment he may stumble or slip and go crashing downwards. The unbearable cold at high altitudes is another difficulty which climbers have to face. They are often overtaken by storms and blizzards. It is an ordeal to have to walk through snow in which one sinks to the knees.

The cold is so server that the climbers’ feet, toes and fingers suffer frost bite and become useless. This is a catastrophe. Many lives have been so lost on account of the avalanches. It is, indeed wonderful that many mountain peaks and summits should have been conquered by various climbing expeditions in the face of such a multiplications of dangers and hardships.

Mountain climbing requests special knowledge, skills and equipment. Mountain climbers must be in good physical conditions and have good judgment. Even many skilled climbers have lost their lives trying to conquer challenging peaks. Mountaineers must know how to use maps as where there are trials they must travel through dense woods as they approach a mountain and cross steep slopes and rock slides above the tree line on the mountain.

Near the summit of a high peak, the climber’s may have to scale steep rock faces and plod over snow fields and glaciers filled with crevasses. In dangerous areas, climbers rope themselves together in groups of two, three or more persons. Climbers carry packsacks loaded with first aid kit, food and extra clothing for sudden changes in weather. Some climbers prefer felt or rope sold hoes which do not slip on wet rocks.

In addition, a climber may carry an ice axe to aid, in keeping his balance to cut step in snow and ice and to stop him from falling.

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