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Timberline Trails Training is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your time spent in the great outdoors when it comes to activities such as hiking, backpacking, climbing, and mountaineering. The "How To's" of the above subjects are so vast that we can only scratch the surface (at best), when it comes to all the information you would need to deal with every wilderness scenario you may come across. While proper training and experience are king when it comes to being safe and getting the most out of any activity, it certainly doesn't hurt to gain as much knowledge as possible before beginning any wilderness adventure. And it is our hope that we will be able to offer you some help here in this section of Timberline Trails.

Getting the most enjoyment out of climbing and mountaineering, will require proper conditioning, mental preparation, knowledge of what equipment you need and how to use it, proper food and nutritional needs, understanding weather and how to prepare for it, navigation, first aid, safety considerations, climbing anchors, rappelling, glacier travel, and on and on. As you can see, volumes could be written on the subject of mountaineering alone.

What you will learn in the mountains is endless, and no book or website could ever take the place of experience, and if you end up spending any significant time in the mountains, you will find that your need to hone your problem solving skills. They will be vital to the safety and success of every outing you go on. You will need to be keenly aware of how environmental and situational problems work together to challenge your every decision and the consequences for making the wrong one.

But most importantly, a mountaineer needs to know him or herself. You need to know if you are in over your head. If you have taken on a route beyond your skill set. You need to also know the skills and weaknesses of not only yourself, but your climbing or hiking partners. Mountaineering is most often a team effort, and there are no congratulations to you, if one or more of your team members are hurt or injured in the process. Jon Krakauer in his book "Into Thin Air," wrote the following “Unfortunately, the sort of individual who is programmed to ignore personal distress and keep pushing for the top is frequently programmed to disregard signs of grave and imminent danger as well. This forms the crux of the dilemma that every mountain climber comes up against. In order to succeed, you must be exceedingly driven, but if you are too driven, you will likely die. Therefore the line between appropriate zeal and reckless summit fever becomes grievously thin. Thus the slopes of Everest are littered with corpses.” I think this pretty much sums up the importance of knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and motives when taking on any mountain.

But on a more positive note, I would like to say this. Mountaineering and climbing have provided multitudes of adventure, excitement, hardships, and inner growth for not only myself, but for the many who have accompanied me over the years.

In the beginning when people asked me why I climb, I would simply state "For the accomplishment", or "For the Adventure," but that has changed. Today, I would say that I climb for the depth of character that outdoor activities such as mountaineering provide.

I can tell you straight out, that I can learn more about an individual (or myself for that matter) in just a few short days in the mountains, than I can in years of watching someone in normal day to day conditions. Seeing a person under the hardships of frustration, exhaustion, fear, and a host of other human emotions, brings out the inner man like nothing else can. I like that. For I would rather see the real person and deal with that, then work with the fake facades that so many people put on when life is easy.

For those who have never experienced the exhilaration of being on a distant summit, or awakened to a clear crisp dawn and seen the alpenglow of a great north facing wall, well, all I can say is that there are beauties out there that defy description. No photo (no matter how good) can capture what the human eye can take in, for those beauties can only be experienced by individuals who are willing to pay the price.

But if you are willing to put in the hard work, I will guarantee you this: You will gain experiences in life that you will never forget. For the physical and spiritual rewards to be gained in the mountains are well worth the effort you put into it. To quote Voytek Kurtyka: "Alpinism is the art of suffering" and mountaineering is certainly challenging, and the hardships do abound, but the rewards are equally substantial.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." (Isaiah 55:12)

This site is by no means a substitute, for expert climbing instruction and or mountaineering skill. Nor can this area of Timberline Trails make climbing safe for those who do not apply sound judgement and practice the safety principles as outlined in expert publications on the subject.

Inexperienced climbers are urged to avail themselves of instruction in safe climbing techniques from mountain clubs, professional guides, and/or experienced friends before taking on any climb or mountaineering type activity.

Mountaineering and rock climbing involves risks, and each person must assume personal responsibility for his or her own safety.
The Author of Timberline Trails is unable to accept responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by any person, caused by errors and omissions, or as a result of any advice and/or information given in this site. So due yourself a great service and get proper instruction from a qualified trainer, and climb safe. Remember, no ascent is worth the deliberate risk of life or injury!

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