Mountaineering is an extreme activity that requires a great deal of physical, mental and technical preparation. In fact, it's not enough to be in good physical condition to climb the highest peaks; you also need to be mentally prepared to deal with the difficulties and dangers that can arise during a climb. Here we give you some advice on how to prepare yourself physically and mentally for a mountaineering race.
Firstly, it is advisable to come a week before an ascent to acclimatise to the altitude. Hiking at altitude helps to prepare the body for hypoxia and adapt to the drop in oxygen. Altitude can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue. So it's important to acclimatise gradually to avoid these discomforts.
To succeed in a mountaineering race, it is essential to be physically prepared. To improve your endurance and stamina, it's important to work on your cardio and running. Similarly, it's crucial to be able to carry a heavy rucksack for several hours without tiring. To achieve this, we recommend hiking with a heavy rucksack. This practice not only strengthens the muscles in your back and legs, but also allows you to get used to the sensation of carrying a heavy load.
Another tip for getting physically ready is to do the Ruffler test. This test measures your level of fitness and detects any abnormalities in your heart. In fact, this test is useful for determining whether you are physically ready for a mountaineering climb.
To do this test, follow the instructions below:
1. Lie down for 5 minutes at rest. Take your pulse on your wrist or neck (which you will note down in F1).
2. Do 30 squats in 45 seconds. Take your pulse (F2)
3. Lie down for 1 minute and check your pulse (F3)
4. Calculate your Ruffier index: (F1+F2+F3) - 200 / 10
5. Interpret your result:
Taking your pulse Count the number of heartbeats in 60 seconds.
Secondly, to succeed in a mountaineering race, you need to prepare yourself mentally as well as physically. You also need to know how you react to stress and be genuinely motivated. A mountaineering climb can be stressful and requires a great deal of ability to manage your emotions. It is therefore important to practise relaxation and meditation techniques to strengthen your resistance to stress.
It's crucial to know when to give up a climb if it's too difficult for you. In mountaineering, safety must always come first. So it's important to make rational decisions and not take unnecessary risks.
Finally, technical preparation is important for a successful mountaineering ascent. You need to know how to walk with crampons and how to use an ice axe. To do this, we recommend that you take a mountaineering course with a professional guide to learn the basic techniques, or that you take DiscoveRent his first mountaineering race where you can learn all these techniques.
To find out exactly what you need to take with you, we invite you to read another article on our blog: Packing your mountaineering bag.
In conclusion, physical, mental and technical preparation is essential for a successful mountaineering race. It's important to take the time to prepare yourself to avoid accidents and injuries. By following this advice, you'll be ready to tackle the highest peaks in complete safety.