And take your inspiration from Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a ruddy young Italian man of the 1920s, thoroughly enjoyed scaling mountains. He once said to a friend, “With every passing day I fall madly in love with the mountains; their fascination attracts me.”
According to Frassati USA, he successfully climbed “the Gran Tournalin (3,379m/11,086ft), the Grivola in the Val d’Aosta (3,969m/13,022ft), Mon Viso (3,841m/12,602ft), the Ciamarella (3,676m/12,060ft), the Bessanese (3,532m/11,588ft),” as well as many other minor peaks.
He is probably most famous for a photograph of him climbing a steep cliff where he wrote on the back, “Verso l’alto,” or in English, “to the heights.”
For Frassati scaling mountains was a spiritual experience, one that brought him closer to God.
But scaling mountains is a treacherous activity, even if it does bring a soul “to the heights.” In fact, it could bring a person closer to their final destination of Heaven much sooner than expected!
For this reason the Church has provided a particular “Blessing of Tools for Scaling Mountains.” It can be found in the Roman Ritual and highlights some of the spiritual symbolism found in the dangerous activity. It also provides a special protection for those who are going on such an excursion.
So the next time you want to climb Mount Everest (or maybe a much smaller mountain closer to home) have a priest bless your equipment to ensure a safe and spiritual journey.
(Approved by Pope Pius XI on October 14, 1931) P: Our help is in the name of the Lord. All: Who made heaven and earth. P: The Lord be with you. All: And with your spirit. Let us pray. Lord, we beg you to bless + these ropes, staves, mattocks, and these other tools, so that all who will use them in scaling the mountains’ heights and precipices, in ice and snow and raging storms, may be preserved from all accidents and catastrophe, safely reach the summits, and return unharmed to their homes; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen. Let us pray. Protect these servants of yours, O Lord, by the prayers of St. Bernard, whom you have made patron of mountain dwellers and travelers; and grant that along with scaling these heights they may also reach that mountain which is Christ; through the same Christ our Lord. All: Amen. They are sprinkled with holy water.