Seven Must-Learn Mountaineering Skills Before Attempting Your First Summit

3. Rope Work


Rope work by Mason Strehl

Photo captured by Mason Strehl

Before heading into the high mountains, first learn the basics of alpine rope work on a moderate crag or climbing wall. Many of the techniques required on alpine ascents are very similar to those employed in traditional-climbing and, with a few obvious variations, sport climbing.


Familiarity with building a belay, abseiling, tying knots and lead climbing are essentials and, depending on the nature of your climb, learning to work with a double rope (or ‘half-rope’) and walking on a rope as part of a team may also be required. Planning and preparation for your climb should incorporate an assessment – and practice – of any rope work you are likely to have to undertake on the mountain.

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