Train for Danger
You need to learn quite a few things in order to be able to estimate different situations. Evaluating the possibilities of an avalanche, or being able to “read” the terrain and snow is one of the skills to develop.
Knowing how to understand the dangers and traps that lay under snow or ice is fundamental. Make sure you are trained in such (theory and practice) and mark it as a prerequisite prior beginning your mountaineering endeavors.
You need to be able to “read” the weather and predict the upcoming conditions, along your designated route. That is additionally important on multi-day mountaineering missions.
Don’t go for Mount Everest from the beginning. Experienced climbers say that you need to build up your experience and knowledge. Thus, pick easy targets at first.
Choose a route you can climb without a rope first. I can be in summer time too. That same route will be an absolutely different challenge in winter with all the snow and ice.
No need to say that being dry and warm is absolutely crucial. Apart from the fun you need to be safe. A basic clothing set consists of:
- Warm Socks
- Long Sleeve Thermal Shirt
- Insulation Fleece
- A Soft-Shell or Hard-Shell pair of pants (depends on conditions)
- A Hard-Shell Jacket or even a Parka
You also need:
- A hiking hat
- A neck gaiter (buff) to protect you from cold air
- Suncream, as sun reflects on snow and you can get sunburns
The Importance of Insulated Gloves
Tip: Have more than 1 pair of gloves with you. In case of rainfall you will need backups. Your hands must be kept wet all the time. Carry 1 or 2 pairs of thin ones and 1-2 pairs of thicker ones. A combination of these with waterproof gloves is better, though your hands will get moist from sweating.