Mountaineering is one of the most exhausting and dangerous sports out there, combining the thrill of climbing to the highest points on the planet with the risks of falling down. If you’re interested in giving it a shot, there are many things you have to know; from the gear, you will need to the proper physical training to how to get safely up and down the mountain.

Mountaineering comes with a long list of gear to ensure climbers safety. You’ll definitely need a helmet and a harness, crampons, carabiners, and ropes. Obviously, wear warm clothing with waterproof outer layers. If you’re going on a more than one day climb you will have to bring camping equipment.

If you’re going to pull yourself up thousands of feet, you need to have the physical shape that will allow you to easily meet the physical requirements of this activity. You need to build strength through exercise. Work on your stamina so you won’t be out of energy halfway up. Altitude training is risky at some point, but working out high above sea level- and staying there for the several days it takes to acclimate- is worth considering.

Mountaineering is an increasingly popular sport, and with crowded mountains, many areas are requiring user permits to limit traffic and resulting human impact. Many of the more frequently-climbed mountains require some advance planning to allow for permits and registration. Be sure to contact the appropriate agency or land manager before climbing.