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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

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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.

Photo: Wikipedia

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

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