Mountains have always have been held in great awe by mankind. They are considered the abodes of gods. It is perhaps for this reason that great sages have taken refuge in them in order to be close to the Almighty. Mountains have also been a challenge to humans. Those brave among us have always wanted to conquer them. The mountains provide the ultimate challenge to the bravery of the human race.
Before climbing a mountain a person must develop in himself the spirit of adventure, willingness to undertake hardships and risks, extraordinary powers of perseverance, endurance, and keenness of purpose. He should also know how to handle the mountaineering equipment. he should then undergo rigorous training for climbing the mountains.
Climbing a mountain is not a child's play. Right from the base camp, each step is beset with difficulties. As one proceeds further one comes across places where the ice may look firm but may be fragile. A large wall of ice or rock may look solid, yet it may have hidden crevices or breaks. As one goes higher the air becomes rarer. A mountaineer gets less and less oxygen to breathe. He has to start using his oxygen cylinder, ropes, ice axes, etc. to moves further.
The weather becomes unpredictable as one climbs greater heights. There may be sunshine one moment and a snowstorm the other. It is during such periods of stress that a snowstorm the other. It is equipment like the compass, etc. At higher altitudes, snow is a regular feature. He has to make decisions about setting up camps or preceding powdery form. Both these kinds of snow are difficult to negotiate. The icy sheets make walking treacherous, while the powdery snow makes a mountaineer sink deep into the snow. All these hardships are topped off by biting cold, in which the body's blood pressure always fluctuates.
The most common ailments that can inflict a body are the frostbites of fingers, toes, and face or a heart attack due to tremendous cold. A mountaineer must therefore protect himself and be ready to abort the climb in case of any difficulty.
Such trying circumstances can be overcome only by exceptional willpower, trust in the fellow climber, and total faith in the Almighty. A true mountaineer may challenge the mountain yet he is always respectful to the powerful forces of nature.
A journey to the top mountain requires more than determination. It needs intoxication of the purpose and single-mindedness of the cause.
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