Sierra Rec Magazine – Fall Edition 2022 – Climbing – To be in the mountains is to be truly free. Not necessarily free from all of life’s challenges and hardships, but free to explore them and to explore yourself. Without the constraints of day-to-day life, whether it’s your nine-to-five or the persistent nagging of news and social media, the world opens up and you’re free to explore it.
Mountain climbing is a multifaceted activity, combining the opportunity to immerse yourself in the great outdoors while challenging yourself physically and mentally. Whether you enjoy mountaineering for its sport-related benefits or for the fact that it allows you to enjoy nature, mountain climbing has the potential to improve your life in a number of different ways. That is, it’s about the journey and the experience, not only summiting the mighty peaks.
“Climb the mountain not to plant our flag, but to embrace the challenge, enjoy the air and behold the view. Climb it so you can see the world, not so the world can see you.” – David McCullogh Jr.
Whether you’re exploring the world-famous Yosemite National Park or the ominous- sounding Death Valley, your mountain climbing experience is sure to be beneficial.
Here are ten ways in which mountain climbing can improve your life.
- Physical Health And Fitness -Mountain climbing requires serious fitness and physical strength, and different trails will require different types of fitness. Some of the more intense ones will require consistently steep climbing, while others will test your physical endurance. Never mind altitude! If you’re taking on a peak like Mount Whitney or something a little higher, your lungs will need to undergo serious training.
Another aspect of physical health is diet. When you’re taking on major trails, you’re going to need to eat food that fuels your body in the right way. This will encourage you to make good dietary decisions and you’ll pick up healthy eating habits along the way.
- Appreciate The Little Things In Life -Whether you’re tackling an extended mountaineering trail or a day hike in Sequoia National
Park, being out in the mountains will strip things down to the basics. It may not be what you’re used to. But being without your creature comforts will teach you to appreciate the little things you take for granted, as well as the luxuries in life.
- Learn Important Survival Tricks -Living out in the open certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. Whether you figure out how to understand wind direction and predict incoming weather or how to make fire, hunt, and keep yourself alive in extreme conditions, you’re bound to learn important survival skills. Not only are these useful things to know, but the challenge will also allow you to prove to yourself what you’re capable of. You’ll feel more confident and your self-esteem will get a boost too.
- Gain An Appreciation For The Importance Of Protecting The Environment – Being outdoors and experiencing the beauty the mountains have to offer will remind you how important it is that we strive to protect the environment at all costs. Even if you already consider yourself a fierce eco-warrior.
Exploring the mountains and natural terrain will demonstrate first-hand what it is we stand to lose. Embrace this incredible perspective and use it to motivate others to prioritize saving the environment.
- Learn Patience And Perseverance – Mountain climbing can be tiring, it can hurt, and sometimes, the trails may seem endless. Whether you’re navigating the depths of Kings Canyon National Park or you’ve hit a metaphorical bump in the road on your climbing trip, patience and perseverance are key. Mountaineering will teach you to remain calm and level-headed and to face your problems with patience. Indeed, sometimes the most important tool you have to complete a trail or a summit a peak is a little bit of perseverance in your back pocket.
- Meet New People And Make Incredible Connections – Whether you’re going mountain climbing with friends or taking on an adventure with like- minded strangers, you’re sure to be well acquainted by the end of it. Being out in nature, challenging yourself mentally and physically, while enjoying the beautiful scenery, is a soulful experience that allows for the building of incredible connections.
- Learn To Be Prepared For And Embrace Change – One thing you can rely on is that mountain climbing is unpredictable. Things are sure to
change as you go, altering your plans and expectations. Whether it’s the weather or the route, there’s not much you can do about that. What matters is your mindset and how you react. Learning to be flexible and embrace change is an important skill that’ll come in handy in the mountains as well as in your day-to- day life.
- Always Be Ready To Learn A New Lesson – Every trip has something different to teach you. You may be taking on the Yosemite Half Dome Experience and realize that you didn’t bring enough water. Or when tackling a hardcore trail in Death Valley, you may discover that you need to spend a bit more time working out different muscle groups as your body is taking strain in certain ways. Whatever you learn along the way, being open to learning new lessons will surely enrich your life.
- Gain Perspective & Destress – Being out in nature allows you to disconnect from the world and remember the things that are truly important to you. Whether it’s family, friends, or another poignant aspect of your life, mountain climbing is a great way to gain perspective. Spending time in nature is also a great destresser as you can unplug from daily life and all the pressure it brings.
- Explore The World – With so many incredible mountains and trails all over the world, mountain climbing gives
you the opportunity to travel and see some of the most beautiful places across the globe. Who wouldn’t want to do this?
Let Mountain Climbing Enrich Your Life
Exploring the mountains has the potential to improve and enrich your life in so many different ways. It can benefit you physically, mentally, and practically, while allowing you to experience true natural beauty.
The Sierra Nevada has some of the most incredible mountain trails and national parks in America, and the world! The best part? They’re just waiting to be explored.