Why would anyone put himself under the harsh and unforgiving conditions of climbing a mountain? This is the same question that Ben Saunders asked himself when he was undertaking the 105 day trek to the South pole. He had to muster Within himself the motivation to start the the expedition which he knew would be a grueling climb on dangerous glaciers and barren terrain.
Ben’s journey and the lessons that he picked up during the trek can help climbers prepare to climb a mountain or take a long difficult hike.
Lessons From 105 Day South Pole Trek
1. Prepare for Delays and extensions of your timelines
Ben and his partner ran out of food at 46 Miles short of completing their journey. If they had not prepared for this possibility, it would have been a rush against time to save the pair from starvation. However, they had prepared to have a helicopter bring in a replenishment for their supplies if they needed it and the plane was on standby to come to their rescue.
You may not have the luxury of having a plane on standby when on your climb and for this reason, you need to be prepared in case things go south. Since when climbing a mountain, you are battling the elements you should never leave this aspect to chance. An effective way of dealing with this is to carry Emergency food rations that should not be used until your original rations are depleted.
2. Understand your terrain and prepare for it.
During their return journey, Ben and his partner encountered a challenge with their crampons and they had to repair them after every few hours. This significantly delayed their timelines and as a result, the rations that they had carried ran out since they had not planned on the extra time that would be taken to repair the crampons and the delay that this would create.
It is important to ensure that you understand your terrain since it is going to determine the kind of gear that you need for your expedition. Make sure that you do your research on the conditions of the terrain that you will be taking on and ensure that you have the correct gear and supplies to to ensure that as you are climbing a mountain, you will not run out .
3. Set a Goal but be Flexible.
Ben had a very clear goal: doing the trek with only the supplies that he had and with no external help. However, this goal had to be metered with the realization that no matter how much planning you do, you may eventually have to swallow your pride and give up or at least adjust the goal.
Climbing a mountain is no easy task. It requires a clear goal and a great deal of motivation. It is easy for that goal to consume us to a point of no return. As much as it is important to set a goal of the distance that you will cover daily and the milestones that you need to reach, it is equally important to realize that these goals may get affected by contravening circumstances and at that point, you may need to readjust your plan.