Mountain climbing, also known as mountaineering, is one of the more popular outdoor activities in Zion. This sport requires high level of physical and mental training in order to be successful in conquering any mountain. Others go mountain climbing as a profession or a career while others do it merely as a past time. But regardless of the purpose, mountain climbing is definitely your escape from the stress and problems brought on by the routine tasks of work or school.
There are three kinds of mountain climbing, trail hiking, rock climbing and ice climbing. Trail hiking, which is generally easy, is done by walking along a trail which is usually not steep. This is the most common kind of mountain climbing. Rock climbing is a much more difficult activity because it involves steeper slopes and higher mountains. This is usually done by two persons. If you want to engage in this activity in Zion you need to have a strong upper and lower body, as you will need to use arms, legs and core to ascend the mountain. Also you’ll need climbing equipment like ropes and clamps. You’ll also want to wear climbing gear like rubber-soled boots or steel spikes. There is also what we call the indoor rock climbing or wall climbing which is becoming popular. As for ice climbing, it involves ascending mountains through ice formations. For most people, this is considered to be the most dangerous.
For first-time mountain climbers, it is important that you know the basic safety guidelines before going for a hike in a place like Zion Canyon. It is also best if you consult your doctor first in case you are suffering from any allergies or ailments which may make it difficult, if not harmful for you to climb mountains. Keep in mind that you need to be physically fit for this activity.
In order to be successful in every hike, make sure that you have brought with you the needed materials and equipment like sleeping bags, tents, a knife and extra clothes. Depending on the difficulty of the hike, additional gear like rope and an axe may be required for safety purposes. Also, a first-aid kit is a must while hiking in order to give you a remedy in case something bad happens like a snake bite or an encounter with a poisonous plant.
Here are some tips for you mountaineers:
1. Conserve water. Water is important in your hikes, not only to rehydrate yourself but also for cleaning any wounds or cuts to avoid infections. Use eating utensils and equipment that requires the least washing. Also, it would be helpful if you are familiar with the mountain so that you can find any water source.
2. Bring only light foods. It has always been difficult for hikers to prepare foods. They must find the right balance so that the amount of food that they will bring will be enough without making their bag too heavy. The best way to go is foods that requires minimum or no cooking like instant noodles, and instant rice. There are also meats that can be eaten raw.
3. Always bring money. Credit cards or debit cards may not always be accepted so it would be advisable to bring cash. You can use cash to buy any conventional things like napkins, shades or caps.
4. Know the weather and trail conditions of the place. It would be best to hike during daytime so as there will be a clear and visible view of the trail. Also avoid hiking while raining because it can be dangerous since mountains are prone to landslides. The best time of the year to hike in Zion is between May and September.
5. Make sure that all the equipment is in good condition. So as to avoid any inconvenience or difficulty make sure that you check your equipment before packing it.
6. Pack lightly. Avoid bringing unnecessary things on a hike. Ask other hikers to give you advice on which things are really needed and which may be dispensed with. Don’t forget the essential things though like water and first-aid kits.