Going Down the Mountain? A Guide to Descending on Trails

Going Down the Mountain? A Guide to Descending on Trails

There are quite a number of things that determine how fast you can descend on trails. However, with a good strategy and understanding of the physical features, you will be able to reach the end of trail without hurting yourself. Furthermore, take note that the steepness and length of the trail is directly related to the time you can take. Remember, this is one of the most thrilling experiences that you can have as a hiker. This guide is meant to help you remember key points that you should know in regard to going down the mountain.

Descending on Trails


While climbing up the mountain offers excellent opportunity for you to discover the mysteries of nature around you, going down is definitely a thrill. And so, it is time to play but you must take note on the nature of the ground. In order to be safe and avoid hurting yourself, it is vital that you master your strides. In this case, over striding should be avoided at all costs despite the temptation. Always use short steady strides so that you have the necessary balance that is required while going downhill. Otherwise, you might lose a tooth or two.


It is equally important to ensure that your landing is good so that you may not hurt your feet. You are advised to let your feet land in such a way that they are able to sustain your body weight, and at the same time offer you the necessary balance. As far as the landing is concerned, you will hurt your back and feet if you do not do it properly. Landing and taking good strides are closely related, and if you happen to master these two, then you are likely to understand other basics without any problem at all.

Where to gaze

This seems pretty easy for experienced mountain climbers, but for the new ones, it can be a little bit scary. If you are new to mountain climbing and experienced the joy of reaching your target up the physical feature of your choice, then going down the mountain shouldn’t be a problem at all. You should focus your gaze at least 1 or 2 steps ahead as you feel the thrill down the slope. Furthermore, be aware of obstacle and try to maneuver your way through them. A good gaze will help you avoid accidents, and you’ll reach the bottom exhilarated.

Body posture

It can be of a challenge when it comes to very steep sloped down the mountain. It is here that you need to be quite cautious of everything you do, and also your body posture will determine if you’ll successfully reach the end of the slope without any injuries. In case you come across one in your trekking activities, you are advised to keep a relatively slight forward lead - be confident, relax your mind and focus on the trail before you start your descent. As a word of advice, pick up clues on obstacles as far as you can so that you do not compromise anything. Last but not least, keep your arms lose but be ready to react fast in case something goes wrong.

Footing, Obstacles, and Trail

It is highly recommended that while going down the mountain, always consider the basics of the trail you are using. What this means is that go for the smooth parts of trail down the slope, having in mind the obstacles on the way. It is also a good idea if you keep shifting from one side, as this kind of movement helps a great deal in regard to balancing and getting your body on relatively even ground. Additionally, this will help circumvent obstacles as well as sharp bends as these can be quite dangerous while going down the hill. If you realize that your hiking shoes have picked some debris, you better remove them fast lest you want to get hurt.

Other things to note

  • Do not try to lean back in order to slow your pace, as the end results might be quite disastrous.
  • Always conserve energy and do not panic, instead, remain focused on trail and you will be able to complete the trail even if you are not a seasoned climber.
  • Always ensure that your body balance is good, and do not compromise on body positioning, either.

Your feet adapting to the mountain terrain, good posturing, and having highly quality mountain climbing shoes and other related equipment is always a plus for climbers. Also, you should always think of understanding the terrain before you start going down the mountain. In this way, you’re able to easily avoid accidents of any nature. Last but not least, experience matters a great deal and the more you go for mountain climbing, the better you become in the practice.

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