Aims: In order to evaluate body composition and somatotype, 10 Italian experienced mountain climbers were assessed from an anthropometric point of view, before a high altitude ascent. Body mass, height, girths, skinfolds, and bone breadths were gathered and used to calculate body composition and somatotype of each subject.
Results: Means and standard deviations of the subjects' anthropometric characteristics were calculated. Mesomorphism (5.28±1.10) is the dominant somatotype component in all but one the participants, endomorphism (1.55±0.49) is low, and body fat percentage (11.76%±2.93) is low. Comparisons with athletes involved in other climbing subdisciplines highlight the specificity of elite mountain climbers anthropometry.
Conclusions: The elite mountain climbers in our sample were predominantly mesomorphic with somatotype attitudinal mean values lower than reported for male athletes participating in free-climbing, volleyball, gymnastics, and soccer. Anthropometric characteristics may therefore play a role in mountain climbing, even though the trainable components may be more relevant than the nontrainable ones.