Mountaineering is essentially the scaling or climbing of mountains. This involves a great deal of training simply to adjust to higher altitudes. The tallest mountain in Europe is Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria, which peaks at 5642m according to the Standard Encyclopedia of the World’s Mountains, and Everest in the Himalayas reaches 8848m at its peak, so you can imagine the strain scaling these would put on your calves and your lungs!

In addition, hikers must train at the gym, practice carrying heavy loads, and go rock or wall climbing. It is also important for mountaineers to travel at least in pairs because conditions are always hazardous and there is rarely a payphone nearby. It is, of course, essential to learn survival skills, the basics of which will be studied later in the article

For further information about the basics of mountaineering, check out The ABC of Mountaineering.


This is an all purpose pursuit that involves climbing, jumping, swimming and sliding in order to cross canyons, ravines and crevasses. Canyoning is really a subset of rock climbing, so it’s important you have all the appropriate climbing gear to deal with the challenges you face.

The equivalent ABC of Hiking offers an introduction to the sport and a list of the basic equipment needs.


This discipline tackles coast lines and involves crossing beaches, climbing rocks, crossing deep waters and even a degree of cliff hanging. The most important thing is to remain warm and keep as waterproofed as possible. A wetsuit and PFD (personal flotation device) are essential.

Once again, the ABC of Hiking offers a straightforward introduction and checklist.