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Mountain Climbing

Category: Ii Woodcraft

The campers should go together to climb the mountain, never one girl

Before starting, find a strong stick to use as a staff; stow away some
luncheon in one of your pockets; see that your camera is in perfect
order, ready to use at a moment's notice; that your water-proof
match-box is in your pocket filled with safety matches, your
pocket-knife safe with you, also watch and compass, and that the tin cup
is on your belt. Your whistle being always hung around your neck will,
of course, be there as usual.

When you are ready, stand still and look about you once more to make
sure of your bearings; close your eyes and tell yourself exactly what
you have seen. After leaving camp and arriving at the foot of the
mountain, take your bearings anew; then look up ahead and select a
certain spot which you wish to reach on the upward trail. Having this
definite object in view will help in making better progress and save
your walking around in a circle, which is always the tendency when in a
strange place and intervening trees or elevations obstruct the view, or
when not sure of the way and trying to find it.

Begin blazing the trail at your first step up the mountain side. Even
though there may be a trail already, you cannot be sure that it will
continue; it is much safer to depend upon your own blazing.

Often in trailing along the mountain you will find huge rocks and steep
depressions, or small lakes which you cannot cross over but must go
around, and in so doing change your direction, perhaps strike off at an
angle. Before making the detour, search out some large landmark, readily
recognized after reaching the other side of the obstruction, a tall,
peculiarly shaped tree or other natural feature. Now is the time to try
earnestly to keep the landmark in sight as long as possible and to be
able to recognize it when you see it again. Watch your compass and the
sun that you may continue in the right direction after circling the
obstruction. Go slow in climbing, take your time and don't get out of

On many mountains the possibility of unexpected fogs exists, and safety
requires that the party be linked together with a soft rope; the same
precaution should be taken when the trail is very rough, steep, and
rocky. The camper at the head of the line should tie the rope in a
bow-line around her waist, with knot on left side, and eight or ten feet
from her the next girl should link herself to the rope in the same
manner; then another girl, and another, until the entire party is on the

The leader starts on the trail and the others, holding fast to their
staffs, carefully follow, each one cautious to keep the rope stretching
out in front of her rather taut; then if one girl stumbles the others
brace themselves and keep her from falling.

When descending the mountain, be careful to get a firm footing. Instead
of facing the trail, it is safer to turn sideways, so that you can place
the entire foot down and not risk the toes only, or the heels. Often
coming down either a steep hill or a mountain is more difficult than
going up.

Next: Lost in the Woods

Previous: Make a Compass of Your Watch

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