How to start mountaineering

Posted by Jonathan Garside on 12/12/2012
How do you start mountaineering? Photo: Alex Messenger.

There are many different types of mountaineering, from exploring Britain’s hills in summer or winter to scaling Himalayan peaks. All types of mountaineering involve a degree of skill and preparation.

Before you start dreaming of your first winter route (or a solo ascent of K2!) do some summer hill walking to develop your fitness and sure-footedness. The BMC publishes a free New Hill Walkers booklet and Safety on Mountains booklet to help you learn the basics.

Once you want to venture further afield, it’s a great idea to join a club if you haven’t already. There are more than 300 climbing, hill walking and mountaineering clubs affiliated to the BMC and many run meets in remote parts of Britain or abroad.

Believe it or not, Britain offers some of the most challenging winter mountaineering around. You can develop your skills close to home by taking in one of our winter lectures or watching the Winter Essentials DVD.

You may also find it helpful to take a course at the National Outdoor Centre, Plas y Brenin, or hire a guide through the Association of Mountaineering Instructors or the British Mountain Guides. It’s a great way of fast-tracking your skills development and gaining confidence.

Some aspiring mountaineers may even be eligible for a subsidy. The Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust delivers subsidised mountaineering courses for your people, and Plas y Brenin manages a range of bursaries.

If you’re still hankering for the Alps, don’t miss out on our Alpine lectures and Alpine Essentials DVD. They contain invaluable advice to help you on your first attempt at something bigger. 

And while you’re over there, why not try ski touring? It’s an exhilarating way to explore the mountains and if you already have good off-piste skiing experience, then you will have some of the necessary skills. Our Off Piste Esssentials DVD will point you in the right direction.

As with any sport, there is an element of risk in mountaineering that you need to accept. Take responsibility for your own involvement and read the BMC's participation statement.

And if you’re going to altitude for the first time – perhaps on an organised trek – read the up-to-date information in our altitude advice sheets and our Travel at Altitude booklet.



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 8496 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

How to support novice club members weekend, at Plas y Brenin
4
How to support novice club members weekend, at Plas y Brenin

This popular training event will return in 2021, dates to be confirmed.
Read more »

Best of BMC TV: Top five trad climbing films for lockdown
0
Best of BMC TV: Top five trad climbing films for lockdown

Do you hear that? Nuts, cams and hexes chinking together to create the tune of tradventures out on rock. Okay, so the gear jingles may be faint echoes these days, but fear not, we're bringing them back. We've headed down into the BMC TV archives and pulled out our favourite trad climbing films to make up for this temporary trad absence. Sit back, relax and watch our top five picks:
Read more »

A parent's guide to climbing, walking and mountaineering
1
A parent's guide to climbing, walking and mountaineering

If your child is interested in climbing, walking or mountaineering, then read this brilliant free BMC booklet which explains the benefits, and risks, of these activities.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
2
Anonymous User
23/03/2014
Hi - the link for the Safety on the Mountains booklet is bust - 404 error.

:(
Jonathan Garside(author comment)
24/03/2014
Thanks. Now fixed :-)

RELATED ARTICLES

How to support novice club members weekend, at Plas y Brenin
4

This popular training event will return in 2021, dates to be confirmed.
Read more »

Best of BMC TV: Top five trad climbing films for lockdown
0

Do you hear that? Nuts, cams and hexes chinking together to create the tune of tradventures out on rock. Okay, so the gear jingles may be faint echoes these days, but fear not, we're bringing them back. We've headed down into the BMC TV archives and pulled out our favourite trad climbing films to make up for this temporary trad absence. Sit back, relax and watch our top five picks:
Read more »

A parent's guide to climbing, walking and mountaineering
1

If your child is interested in climbing, walking or mountaineering, then read this brilliant free BMC booklet which explains the benefits, and risks, of these activities.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »