The Dream of Climbing Mount Everest, You Can Do It Part 2

Getting started

A climbing program spanning the next four to five years is a good idea. Maybe your program should be even longer. There are many things you will need to work out before standing on the top of Mount Everest.

Here is one example of a climbing program:

Year 1: Introductory Europe – Mont Blanc The US – Mount Rainier

Year 2: Intermediate Himalaya – Island Peak/Lobuche Peak, The US – Denali

Year 3: Advanced +8000 m – Himalaya – Cho Oyu/Manaslu

Year 4 or 5: Goal Mount Everest 8,850m/29,029 feet

You might think, what about Aconcagua or Kilimanjaro, they are very high. Yes, they certainly are, and if you have a planned vacation to South America or Africa and want to give either a go, you should do so. You will get a much better understanding of your body’s reaction to high altitude.

However, I prefer that people get used to snow during an early stage of their preparation for climbing Everest. Learning about Crampon techniques, how to use a climbing rope and how to tie knots are so very important. You will go to high snowy mountains with great confidence and know what to do in different situations.

Vacation

Is your supervisor willing to allow you vacation time so that you can go climbing for at least a couple of weeks? Or, if you run your own company can you afford to stay away that long? Do you have someone to fill in for you when you are out climbing? The sooner you prepare your travel plans with your company, the easier it will be to fulfill them.

Budget

It is not cheap to buy the required gear for alpine climbing. But to do it smart; make sure to buy high-quality clothing and gear. It will cost you a little bit extra, but it will last much longer. You might have the possibility to borrow some clothes or gear from friends? Also, you do not have to buy high altitude boots and a down suit right away. Another way to get some free clothing or gear is to ask your local outdoor shop if they are willing to sponsor you. Maybe they will want you to bring a flag with their company logo to the summit for a photo opportunity. Writing a blog keeping people posted about your expedition is fun and very popular. Climbing Everest with a guiding company is about USD 40,000 – 65,000 this season, Spring 2012. The climbing permit is what makes it so expensive. The cost to climb other mountains is much cheaper to climb.

Follow my upcoming articles on how you can successfully prepare yourself to actually climb Mount Everest. The third episode, in which I will detail which mountains to climb before going to Mount Everest, will be out soon.

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The Climbing Book – An Essential Tool For Any Outdoor Climber

If you plan to climb outdoors, whether it’s trad routes or sport bolted routes, the humble climbing book is an essential piece of equipment you should never go climbing without.

Rock climbers have been using route guides since the 1900s. In the early days of rock climbing, routes were recorded with sketches and hand written notes which would be meticulously copied by hand. Very few people had access to these guides, making it extremely difficult for beginners to get started. Nowadays we are spoiled with easy access to climbing books which comprehensively cover most of the climbed rock faces throughout the world.

Unless you are in the business of setting new routes, a rock climbing book is the best way to ensure you don’t stray off route. Staying on your chosen climbing route is vital for staying safe. For example, you might start a Vdiff route and accidentally stray onto an E1. That’s fine if you’re an E1 leader, but if you’re not you’re in trouble!

Most modern climbing books are superb and feature a wealth of useful information, including:

Photographs featuring the routes
Detailed step by step descriptions of the routes
Maps showing you how to find the crags
Detailed descriptions of the crags including aspect, altitude and the type of rock
Information on the characteristics of the routes (like whether they are well or poorly protected)
There are some brilliant publishers creating top quality climbing guide books, my favourite include: Ground Up, ROCKFAX and Vertebrate Publishing. I use their guide books extensively and have found them to be incredibly useful on my climbing expeditions.

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