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Holidays are all about taking time out from your job, relaxing and exploring a new place. Climbing is all about taking in the magnificent scenery, pushing your body and feeling the benefits of all that exercise. So why not combine the two and take a climbing holiday? There are all sorts of tour groups and guided holidays you can take that will allow you to go at your own pace and push yourself to greater heights.
You might be more of a lying-by-the-pool type of holidaymaker, but frankly, we all need a bit of a change every now and then. Instead of doing your usual week in the sun, it’s time to mix things up a bit and get active. There are plenty of ways to stay on top of your health, and you should be making the most of the variety available to you.
But first, you might want to make a few preparations to make sure that your fitness and health will allow you to make the most of your holiday.
If you are a regular hiker, you will understand what climbing mountains really takes. Even relatively fit people who run every week will find the change of pace challenging to start with. Of course, this is your holiday so you can choose the pace you set, but bear in mind that if you’ve only booked a few days off work, there is a deadline to aim for!
It is never too soon to start training for your climbing holiday and the sooner you start, the more gently you can build up your fitness. The main aim is to gradually increase your endurance so that you can hike with your pack on for the duration of your holiday without too much trouble.
There are plenty of workout regimes you can do but getting out into the fresh air with a pack and climbing up a smaller mountain will be the most satisfying. Monitor your improvements to see how well you are doing. Set a timer at the bottom of the mountain and watch as you knock that time down every week. You should also increase the time you train for and gradually get fitter and fitter.
Even if you have a top notch personal injury legal team, you will need to be sensible and pick out the right equipment for your trip to help you stay safe and injury-free. To start with, you need to look at the types of terrain you will encounter and plan ahead for what will come in useful.
Put together a list of everything you will need and then start to gather it together. The most important thing is that you are able to carry everything once it is in your pack. This means that your equipment will determine how much training you do before you go, so it’s worth buying early to train with.
Make sure that all your clothes fit and your boots are exactly right. On long climbs with a lot of pressure on your feet, the wrong boots can cause all sorts of trouble. Some stores will let you trial your boots and will exchange them if they aren’t a perfect fit. Don’t forget to take comfy shoes for camping too so that your feet can catch a rest before you set off again in the morning.
Once you have all your clothes and equipment assembled, you will need to find a way to persuade them all to fit into your backpack. The first thing you should do is make a list showing each item, its category and weight. This will help you to remember what’s going in as you pack and may help you to cut items that are just weighing you down.
One mistake many beginners make is trying to stuff everything in without thinking about what could be strapped to the outside of the bag. Making full use of compression straps and cords will help you to carry more than the volume of your pack. You should also consider the weight distribution. In general, you should aim to place heavier items closer to your spine (and therefore your centre of gravity) for better stability.
A climbing holiday is an exhilarating opportunity to feel like you are standing on top of the world, breathing new air and conquering the landscape. It truly is worth the training and the long hard slog up to the top. If you haven’t given it a go before, try it while you still can! Go on, you can go back to the pool-side next year…