Theres no doubt about it – mountain climbing is one of the best ways to escape the rat race and be at one with nature. The problem is that your mountain climbing experiences can, inevitably, fade with the passage of time. There is a way around this though; keep a mountain climbing journal detailing your adventures. Lets take a quick look at what you should include:
Take a few moments to consider your most recent mountain climbing experience. What especially sticks in your mind? Now, take a few moments to think about the very first time you went mountain climbing. Theres no doubt that you probably remember a few things about the people you climbed with, the geography of the area and, of course the routes and spectacular spectacular views that you enjoyed. You almost certainly remember the weather. You see, the experiences you have forgotten are now lost to the mists of time but, if you keep a mountain climbing journal, then this won’t be the case.
There are, of course, many well known instances of people keeping such journals over the years. Anne Frank’s Diary – although not a climbing journal obviously – is probably the most famous example of a journal. In this famous work, Anne kept a detailed account of the time her family spent hiding from the Nazis. Hopefully, your your mountain climbing experiences are a lot more enjoyable but, in any case, keeping a journal will let you remember them as the years pass.
A good mountain climbing journal covers a number of aspects. First of all , it should be compact so don't take up unnecessary space blabbering on about unrelated topis – keep it about your mountaineering experinces. Second, it should have a protective cover to keep it safe from the inevitable rain, spills and so on. Third, the journal should contain some blank space in which you can amend your notes later on. Last, but not least, the journal should contain cue spaces to remind you to keep notes on specific things. What are cues – well they should cover:
1. Who you went with,
2. Where you camped – and if you enjoyed it,
3. Your fellow climbers and people you met aong the way with contact details if possible,
4. The geography
5. The weather – of course
6. Any unusual things that happened on the trip.
7. The routes you took up the mountain and alternatives.
8. Any useful local knowledge that you picked up along the way
At the end of your trip, hopefully, you will get some useful information and memories from your journal such as
1. Contact information for fellow climbers,
2. Enough detail to provide you or a friend with a guide if you climb the location a second time.
3. Memories to reflect upon years later, and
4. Something to pass on to your friends, children and grandchildren.
In order to get the most out of your journal, I reckon that you should write in it just before you begin your climb, continue when you reach the summit and then complete the task when you get back to base. Dont, ever, try and write your journal while in the act of climbing – for obvious reasons – its really not THAT important!
Mountain climbing is a great way to commune with nature so make sure that you preserve the experience as best you can.