When you think about what "mountaineering" could possibly mean, what comes to mind? Maybe it's someone who hikes mountains or the action of making it to the top of one? While they're both great ideas, read on to dissect what mountaineering is!

Mountaineering is when one travels on snow, and possibly even glaciers or ice to reach a summit. It can also be called alpinism. And for those who aren't familiar with what summit means, that refers to the highest point of a hill or mountain. There are many terms in the mountain world, anything from climbing a mountain or rock climbing can be considered mountain-ness. However, when it comes to exact mountaineering, it must include traveling on snow and reaching the summit.

The sport of climbing

Embarking on a mountaineering adventure can include a lot of things. This terrain consists of both natural and man-made landscapes. There tends to be many steep slopes that can be rocky or covered with ice. It differs from the regular climbing of a mountain because it takes more skill. This is not to say that just anyone can climb a mountain because that's a real workout too. However, mountaineering is something that has a lot of hazards and takes a strong mental and physical game to summit. Personal preparedness and skill development are the main game. The weather is unpredictable and supplies are necessary which can mean having a heavy load on your back.

A major benefit of mountaineering is that it's a group activity. Each member is a support system and can help you achieve that goal; reaching the tippy top. It's also very smart to travel with someone else in case the worst happens. You'd never want to be stuck on an icy, slippery mountain all alone.


Begin your journey hiking. Before you embark on your first mountaineering excursion you'll want to have hiked a few mountains beforehand. While this may seem obvious, it's smart to start slow and steady. Build your legs and your mind for the miles you'll climb.

Rock climbing is great to build your arm strength because you'll definitely need that while mountaineering. This can also help with your bearing on heights and the gripping of your hands on rocks.

Balance is key. Make sure to work on strength training too. Hiking will build your leg strength, rock climbing will work your arms, and use the gym for core workouts. The body weight alone is enough of a carry up a mountain, let alone the bag of necessities holding onto your back. Having overall body strength will get you to your goal successfully.

Don't go it alone

This activity is strenuous and difficult. Don't take this adventure lightly. Do more research, talk to professionals, and gather some pals to climb that mountain with you.