Mountains have a great fascination for men and people, particularly the rich go to the mountains to escape from the heat of the plains below. Mountain climbing, however, is not without risks. It is a challenge to the unconquerable spirit of man and his love of adventure. That is a dangerous sport cannot be denied. As one climbs higher and higher, breathing becomes more and more difficult. Some climbers, therefore, carry a heavy apparatus from which they inhale oxygen.
Mountain climbing is dangerous in the extreme. There are snow storms and blizzards. It is difficult to walk through the snow. It is still more difficult to climb on ice because it is difficult to keep foothold and cut steps with axes in order to make progress. The cold is so severe that the climber’s feet, toes and fingers may suffer frostbite. The most serious difficulty is mat the climber at a high altitude gets exhausted with a little effort.
Mountain climbing requires proper training, skill and knowledge. The climbers must be well equipped. They must be in good physical condition and should possess courage, perseverance and power of endurance. They should carry with them maps, compasses and other equipment so that they are able to find out where they are in the absence of any, tracks. They must travel through dense woods as they approach a mountain and then climb steep rocks. Near the summit of a high peak, the climbers have to move over snow fields and glaciers. In dangerous areas they rope themselves in groups.
The climbers carry with them packs loaded with first-aid supplies, food and extra clothing for sudden changes of weather. They display spirit of sportsmanship and fellow-feeling and face the severe risks of life undaunted. Mountain climbing is a common sport in Europe. There are mountaineering clubs where training in mountaineering is imported.
The highest peaks are in India and there have been successful expeditions to scale these highest peaks in the Himalayas. After the conquest of the Everest the Tensing and Hillary in 1953, the Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling was established to develop interest in mountain-climbing among the Indians Expeditions have been sent to climb the highest peaks in the country.
Mountain climbing is a thrilling but manly adventure. It brings into play the heroic qualities of man. Mountaineers deserve all praise for their courage and heroism. In recent years Mt. Everest has been scaled several times by foreign climbers. India too has organized several expeditions to Everest. Lately an Indian Sherpa scaled the Everest without the use of oxygen. Mrs. Bachchendri Pal also succeeded in scaling the Everest. She is the first Indian woman to do it.