Mt.Rescue & Fitness

Mt.Rescue & Fitness

Mountain rescue refers to search and rescue activities that occur in a mountainous environment, although the term is sometimes also used to apply to search and rescue in other wilderness environments. The difficult and remote nature of the terrain in which mountain rescue often occurs has resulted in the development of a number of specific pieces of equipment and techniques. Helicopters are often used to quickly extract casualties, and search dogsmay be used to locate them.

Mountain rescue services may be paid professionals or volunteer professionals. Paid rescue services are more likely to exist in places with a high demand such as the Alpsnational parks with mountain terrain and many ski resorts. But there are also exceptions, e.g. Switzerland, where mountain rescue is highly expensive (some 2000 to 4000 USD) and will be charged to the patient. In more remote or less-developed parts of the world organized mountain rescue services are often negligible or non-existent.


  • Good basic fitness, as for Munro-bagging. Average rucksack weight: 6-8 kg.
  • Good cardio-vascular fitness which for most people requires some training, by running, hiking and perhaps some gym work. Average rucksack weight: 8-12 kg.
  • High level of fitness coupled with physical toughness and the ability to carry a heavy rucksack for long periods. Average rucksack weight: 12-18 kg.
  • As for ‘C‘, but tougher. Climbs of this grade are exceptionally strenuous and some weight loss is inevitable. Train hard, but take along some spare calories!
  • Hard physical effort at extreme altitude which requires thorough preparation based on your experience of previous trips. Comments for ‘D‘ also apply. May cause long-term fatigue after the trip.

Please note that the rucksack weights given above may be exceeded on some mountaineering’s.

To get the most out of your mountaineering or trek, you will need to be fit and healthy. You do not need to be an athlete, but a good level of overall fitness is important. As an indication, you should be able to walk 8km/5 miles with a height gain of 600m/2,000ft with a 10kg rucksack in 21/2 hours or less. This assumes a reasonable trail is followed at low altitude, such as in the UK or below 3,000m. An example would be an ascent of Snowdon by the Pyg Track from Pen-y-Pass (730m/2,400ft of ascent over 5km/3 miles) with a 10kg rucksack in 2 hours 15 minutes. If you wish to join a B, C, D or E graded mountaineering; you should be able to better this.

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