What do I need to know to be able to climb a mountain like Everest?

Original Post
Bhakta · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0

- In an analogy where a beginner climber is an infant, I'd be the blind date.

- I mention Mt. Everest only because I think, from ignorance, that training to climb Mt. Everest would encompass all the skills it'd take to climb any other mountain. I want to have all the skills that climbing any mountain would need. From the few discussions I've had, I'm aware of how cringing mentioning Mt. Everest without ever having done any climbing is. But, I'm mentioning it because conversations keep going into full on jargon discussions when I mention that I'm "interested in climbing". That's the reason why I thought I'll limit the conversation by saying something specific. Maybe I should ask this: Where does someone start if their goal is to climb every single mountain?

- I'm trying to figure out what it takes and ideally come up with a plan (take an Indoor climbing class and gain so and so skills so you can tackle XXX part of the mountain climb, and then take an ice climbing class so you can tackle this other YYY part yada yada). So far I've been reading about the different kinds of climbing. Rock climbing, Ice climbing, trekking, mountaineering, Alpinism are some of the phrases that are making my head spin. School of Rock looks like a great resource for someone who already knows what they want. I'm a stage where I'm not sure if taking an Indoor climbing class would be a waste of time if my goal is to climb a mountain, ignoring making generalizations like any climbing/any activity at all will help.

TL;DR: SO. where does someone start if their goal is to climb every single mountain?


Thanks all for taking the time to post! These responses here and a very short discussion with a friend brought me enough clarity for now - all of it boiled down essentially to what
jacob m s said. Taking some rock climbing lessons at a local gym and will try to go on hikes of increasing difficulty with a knowledgeable friend - just to start somewhere and not get burned out by an endless stream of Google searches. Will definitely read Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills.

Since I got what I want from here, I probably won't login here let alone post again anytime soon. But, to save the precious time of well meaning people who might be inclined to respond to a perceived troll post: Don't have the desire or the money to actually climb Mt. Everest. I do have the bloated ego for it depending on the day, but I already photoshopped myself in outer space so many times; climbing Mt. Everest won't help my ego much. Kidding aside, I'm aware of the atmosphere surrounding it and don't think of it as a very formidable thing as a goal - mentioned Mt. Everest only because that's the only thing I know as something-to-ask-a question-about in climbing. Buuuuut, that's probably what a troll would also say. Can't win here.

jacob m s · · Provo, Utah · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 100

Well I would say learning how to go backpacking, for at least 5 days, would be the best place to start. Its cheaper then the others and will get you up any mountain that isn't technical, which I would hazard to guess is the majority of mountains. It will teach you how to plan, load a pack, prepare a diet, camp light, read the weather, and enjoy suffering(this will happen at some point if you adventure into the outdoors enough times).

Next I would say learn to rock climb, preferably not bouldering, as you want to start to learn how to move in a vertical world, general rope skills, control your fears, and its a good launching point into the other forms of climbing. First choice would be to find a mentor to learn to trad climb, but if that is not an option learning to sport climb in a gym is a good way to start.

From there I would say learn to ice climb, this will teach you the skills you need for more challenging alpine environments, managing cold, and will set you up for the last set of skills you will need for something like Everest.

This will get you up most mountains under good conditions. For some you will need to learn how to travel ice flows and glaciers, safely navigate avalanche prone terrain, and aid/big will climbing(very few will require much aid and even fewer will need big wall expertise).

I'm sure I missed a few things and that others will have different ideas of how to go about learning everything there is to climbing but I hope this is a good start.

Paul Hutton · · Dirtbaggin' western US · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 601

I've heard that Mt. Everest is, at this point in time, a tourist attraction. People pay money to get their stuff carried up the mountain by sherpas. Get their tents made up and food cooked for them.

Climbing is a lifestyle. I've climbed with people that were bitching at me just during the approach "why did I agree to come with you to this place?!" They got scared in places I led past, protected by trad protection, but enjoyed the effortless rappel to begin the descent, only to progress to more bitching during the descent by twilight, followed by steep down-climbing by flashlight. Be comfortable in places that most others aren't comfortable in.

Get yourself into sport climbing. It balances a scared, weak, awkward individual into a fine-tuned machine that craves the next bigger challenge, always.

Start incorporating little pieces of trad gear in with your sport pitches. If, at this point, I've lost you with my termininology, stop here and start sport climbing. With time, it'll all start to make sense.

Hope you're able to summit whatever Everest you have set in your sights, and look at it as more than just a check in the box. Enjoy the unknown on the way up! The ascent starts before the foot of the mountain. Enjoy the learning! Enjoy the cold!

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240

A much more useful thing to learn is to find out for yourself why you want to climb anything at all. Is it to get the approval of others in a way that can be universally understood? That is sort of where Everest comes in. It is well known as the tallest mountain in the world, so "climbing" it carries some weight with the public that is outside of mountaineering.

This mountain is highly commercialized and controlled, so huge fees apply to even set foot on it in the form of permits. Logistics to get there are also quite problematic and expensive. Oh, and the crowding? Did I mention that?

See, it's much, much better to just find the closest mountain to you right now and go hike up it via the easiest route. Did you enjoy that? Well, find a harder way up. Try rock climbing, too. Now, add those crazy, vertical lines to the possible ways up that mountain. You are starting to see more of the game this way.

I'll bet after a while of doing this on nameless mountains for your own reasons, the idea of going Everest will seem like it's not worth the cost and hassle.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,399

It's a combo of the above ...

a) define / refine area of motivation;
b) choose what seems a reasonable trip for you in that area;
c) do it;
d) assess missing skills;
e) improve on skills;
f) go to 'a'

Edit to add: Or, one can make great short cuts - with some loss of experience - by hiring a guide willing to take you up something based on your existing skill set.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

all good advise given above. I would like to add this.... Go hiking in the snow... pack cold snow down the back of your jacket, have someone spray you down with ice water, make and drink a cup of cold tea, eat a frozen cliff bar.... sit in one place while you freeze for 5 -6 hours while holding a rope in your hands that could go quite tight on you without a seconds warning.... go take a dump in a blizzard... burn a big old pile of cash just for fun..... get the wind knocked out of you.... be prepared to see and experience the most unbelievable places on this planet and to know true joy.

Bhakta- Good luck to you and your quest.

webdog · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 0

A lot of money, a huge ego, and probably and ed hardy t-shirt in the closet

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

There is some helpful info on training for Everest in this video:


ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165

They have been talking about putting a ladder on Hillary Steps for a while. Once they do that than the staircase all the way to the top will be complete!

All you need to climb everest is 60k in cash and a couple months off to go do it.

I think it would be cool to see the view but I am scared of heights so I would never do it and it cost to much to be worth it.

Ryan-G · · San Diego · Joined Oct 2006 · Points: 25

And another troll wins again.

christoph benells · · tahoma · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 55

i would say this book is the best start


Burcheydawwwwwwg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 375

This thread is Gold

Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,240
Adam Burch wrote:This thread is Gold
How about that Ovaltine? It's not oval, it's round. They should call it Roundtine.
Jon Powell · · LAWRENCEVILLE GEORGIA · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 5
webdog wrote:A lot of money, a huge ego, and probably and ed hardy t-shirt in the closet
Best comment on this thread so far.
ColinW · · San Diego, CA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 10
Bhakta wrote: Since I got what I want from here, I probably won't login here let alone post again anytime soon. I do have the bloated ego for it depending on the day. Can't win here.
Bhakta, little buddy.....This is a very safe place. Can you please show us where the big mountain meanies tenderly touched you and crushed your bloated ego? Walk outside, cross the street.....Let us know how you succeded such a dangerous accomplishment. (-_-)
Jeremy in Inyokern · · Inyokern · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 3
Bill Lawry wrote:... define / refine area of motivation; ...
I really can't see any useful motivation outside of climbing better (style) or harder (technical). Any other motivation is eventually going to fade especially if it's to gain "street cred" with your non-climber friends. If you want to climb a mountain put on your boots and go do it.
Mountaineering: The Freedom Of The Hills


The High Sierra: Peaks, Passes, and Trails

worked for me
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 0
Bhakta wrote: where does someone start if their goal is to climb every single mountain?
Every mountain?
I'd start by figuring out how to attain immortality.
Chase D · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Marc801 wrote: Every mountain? I'd start by figuring out how to attain immortality.
The Sorcerer's Stone, of course.
ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165

All depends on what you define as a mountain. Really alot of "mountain ranges" are technically just different peaks on the same mountain.

If you go off the pure definition of it a "large natural elevation of the earth's surface rising abruptly from the surrounding level; a large steep hill." than really every single bump is technically a mountain and good luck with that. We have mountains on top of mountains on top of mountains.

D B · · Denver · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 205

just go up until you can't go up anymore

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

We got trolled!!!!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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