8 Stages of Mountain Climbing for Unfit People
By Janelle Almosara
With the mountain’s stunning views and calming nature, it’s hard to not get curious and not try climbing for yourself. It’s cheap and there are many agencies offering tours that are open to ‘joiners’. Many climbers also say that this activity is ‘not a big deal’ and that there are many beginner-friendly mountains that you can explore. True enough, there is a multitude of mountains that would not require you to hike for 12-hours, but if you’re someone who’s spent most of your time sitting behind a computer and barely moving a muscle, I bet it can be a huge challenge to conquer such challenges.
While we know this can vary from one person to another, here are the 8 stages of Mountain Climbing that most unfit people can relate to.
Stage 1: Excitement
Finally, you’re on your way to the jump-off point. You took a leave from work, packed your cutest sporty outfit, brought in trail snacks, and charged your camera. You are more than ready for this adventure to begin – from climbing gears to Instagram props; you have it all in the bag. Now all you need to do is to get this party started.
Stage 2: Optimism
Mood: I can do this!
Your most awaited climb is here. You took out your camera, conquered a quick 5-minute ascend, and you feel happy more than ever. You know that you’ve started an adventure outside of your comfort zone and you feel good knowing that you’re about to bring home fun stories of this hike. Everything will be fine!
Stage 3: Shock and Denial
Mood: Ang hirap pala nito, shet. Wait lang, guys.
The exhaustion gradually kicks in. You try to shake it off by taking tons of photos and stuffing your face with trail mix. You take short breaks, catching your breath, laughing it off, but you know that you’re getting tired. You’re shocked to know that you still need to walk for 4 more kilometers before you reach the summit and that you’ve actually just walked 2 kilometers from the jump-off point.
“I’m not tired. I can finish this,” you say, as you gasp for air and chug that sports drink with all your might.
Stage 4: Anger and Bargaining
Mood: Pwede ba bumalik na lang tayo? Ang sakit na ng legs ko! Malayo pa ba, Kuya? Kuya, please, ayoko na yata.
You’ve finally entered the stage where taking one step forward feels like too much of a task. You’ve seen the trail, your guide pointed towards the summit, and you realized that your energy would only take you so far. This is the stage where you get angry with your friends, where you bargain with the guide to bring you back to ‘safety’, and where you just feel like you are doomed for eternity.
Stage 5: Working through and Acceptance
Mood: Sige na nga, konti na lang. Andito na ko, wala na akong magagawa.
A few hours in and after finishing off your bar of chocolate, your anger finally subsided. You still feel tired, but you decided to push through and accept your fate. Your friends are ever supportive, cheering you on, and you feel like you have no choice but to move forward with them.
“Few more meters”, you say. “Just a few more,” you repeated as you slowly made your way through the cliffs.
Stage 6: Elation
Mood: SUMMIT NA!!! FINALLY
And finally… you’ve reached the summit! It felt like you’ve won a million dollars. YOU MADE IT! It feels beautiful, all the suffering felt like they’re worth it. You bring out your camera, took cute selfies, and sat down to savor the moment. You are here, this is where you are meant to be, and everything is just too peaceful. You breathe out and you smile. You did it.
Stage 7: Surrender and swearing off mountain climbing
Mood: May descend pa. Suko na ko, dyosko. Hindi na ako uulit.
But the climb doesn’t stop when you’ve reached the top. In fact, you’re just halfway through the adventure. As soon as your friends and your guide decide that it’s time to descend, you realize that you’re doomed, but you just surrender to the fact. You just swear off climbing and promise not to do it again.
Stage 8: Hangover
Mood: Yes, natapos ko! Isa pa kaya? Saan kaya pwede?
You’ve made it to the real finish line. You finally see a parking lot, the true testament that you’re back to civilization. You sigh out of relief, went on to clean yourself, and finally took a seat inside the van to breathe and rest. You feel proud of yourself – you’ve accomplished something that you thought you wouldn’t finish. You think of the rollercoaster that you had to go through and you realize, it’s not that bad. You still made memories. You had an unbelievably great time.
And then you find yourself asking… “perhaps I should try another mountain next month?”
Now you’ve got the travel bug. Go forth and explore, my friend.