Some people often choose to hire a guide when they are getting started with mountaineering. A guide accompanies them on the expedition and keep them company every step of the way. However, hiring a guide is just one of the options. Another option is to take a mountaineering class. While either option makes sense, taking a class so that you mountaineer on your own comes with an unmatched level of experience and a sense of accomplishment. However, before you can try to climb a mountain on your own, there are certain technical skills that you will need to acquire first and that is where mountaineering classes come in. You can learn a lot from accomplished mountaineers such as Bo Parfet too.
The purpose of mountaineering classes is to teach you what you need to accomplish the task safely. You will learn about the various gears and how to use them. Mountaineering classes help to prepare people psychologically. In this article, I will cover some of the skills that you will learn when you take mountaineering classes.
Snow travel techniques and use of ice axe
One of the most crucial lessons they teach you when you attend mountaineering classes is how to travel through snow. Effectively and safely walking through snow requires you to master good footwork. Some of the effective ways to use to walk through snow are glissading, plunge stepping, and step-kicking. These walking techniques can help you to ascend and descend snowy slopes with relative ease.
If you happen to come across as you ascend or descend a mountain, you will need to have skills in using an ice axe. You will be taught how to self-belay where you plant the shaft of the axe deep into the snow so that it guards you against falling. You will also learn how to use the self-arrest feature, which is meant to stop you from falling all the way to the ground if it happens that you fall.
Using crampons and roped glacier travel
Crampons are meant to provide a climber with the kind of traction they need so that they can ascend an icy terrain that would otherwise be hard to ascend without them. In mountaineering class, you will be taught circumstances under which you need to wear the crampons and when to get them off. You will also be exposed to adequate practice so that you can walk comfortably with crampons attached to your boots.
When crossing a glacier, it becomes very important to be roped to other people. Being roped is important because it helps you not to fall all the way to the ground should you slip. However, it also has the shortcoming of requiring you to be careful about other people on your rope team who might slip and start heading down.
In the United States and most parts of the world, crevasses usually start to open up during the last days of summer and beginning of fall as snow begins to melt away. Packed glaciers start to become jumbled ice and crack mazes, which makes it hard to find routes. When this happens, you will need skills for navigating crevasses and mountaineering classes will help you a lot.