Climbing and descending

Uphill climbs require the use of shorter steps. Available projections can form natural steps. Using these allows a more upright body position and reduces the load on postural muscles caused by leaning. Straightening the leg during each step will aid efficiency when going up steeper climbs. Using this technique takes some of the load off the muscles and transfers it to the bones and helps conserve energy. Where possible, place the whole foot on the ground.

On steep descents, place the feet carefully, heel first, with the toes pointing down the slope, the knees bent and the body leaning forward. This will help prevent and control slipping. Placing hands on available trees and rocks will assist with balance and control of the descent. Where possible, zig-zag across a slope rather than going directly up or down. This effectively reduces the gradient of the slope, the strain on the knees and the energy consumed with each step, as well as reducing the potential for erosion.

When descending on a steep rock slab, it is usually best to point the toe down so that the whole surface of the footwear connects with the rock. This will usually give much better grip and reduce jarring.