15 awesome photos of what mountain warfare looks like
Fighting at sea level is tough, but it doesn't get any easier thousands of feet up a mountain. The military prepares for fights at altitude by training extensively in challenging weather and terrain. Here are 16 photos that show what it's like.
1. Narrow passes of ice-covered rocks
Photo: US Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Sarah Mattison
2. Getting down the mountain is faster – but more dangerous – than climbing up.
Photo: US Marine Corp Cpl. Drew Tech
3. Helicopters can make a big difference when they're available.
Photo: US Army National Guard Master Sgt. Paul Wade
4. For getting across the soft snow, skis and snowshoes are handy.
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Suzanna Lapi
5. Sleds can carry extra gear that won't fit in a pack.
Photo: US Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Sergio Jimenez
6. The Marines train on both riding horses and mules, and use them as pack animals.
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Aaron Hostutler
7. When the snow is melted, standard boots can get the job done.
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Emmanuel Ramos
8. But again, a controlled fall is the easiest way to travel.
Emphasis on "controlled." Photo: US Army 1st Sgt Brandon McGuire
9. Traveling across the rock face takes skill and trust in the equipment.
Photo: US Marine Corps Sgt. Ben J. Flores
10. Getting around the mountain isn't enough. Troops have to fight up there.
Photo: US Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas Lienemann
11. The terrain makes it hard for troops to maneuver on well-placed snipers, so they can be especially effective.
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Sarah Anderson
12. Working as a team is key in the mountains.
Photo: US Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Sarah Mattison
13. The "Red Hats," trainers who specialize in mountain operations, know to move as a group.
14. Even on the ropes, it's best if the team can stay together.
Photo: US Marine Corps Cpl. Alex P. Creasia
15. You get cool points for taking photos on top of a mountain, but you would get more if you removed the blank adapters first.
Photo: US Air Force Master Sgt. David J. Loeffler