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Subject: Race to the top, luck of the draw for rock climbing fans rss

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Diane Close
United States
Twin Cities
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For 1-4 players, ages 7 and up. The object of this game is to be the first to reach the Summit of the Mountain by collecting Meter, Gear and Camp cards. Inhibiting your progress are Danger, Yeti and Avalanche cards. If you want to play with more than four players, simply combine decks. This game plays like a variation of Mille Bornes.


24 Camp cards
6 Summit cards
52 playing cards

The playing cards are matte-finished, water-resistant, fairly sturdy cardstock. The camp and summit cards are smaller, thinner glossy cardboard cards that don’t appear to be as sturdy but aren’t in play during the game for as long.

How To Play:

Stack the Camp and Summit cards in 2 separate piles, face down on the table, off to one side.

Shuffle the playing card deck and place it face down on table.

Create a discard pile by turning over the top playing card and placing it face up beside the deck.

To begin, Player to left of Shuffler draws one card from either the deck or discard pile. Turn then passes to the left unless otherwise indicated by the cards you draw.

When all cards have been drawn from the deck, leave the last discarded playing card face up on the table, reshuffle deck, and continue playing.

As you draw cards, you’ll start to collect Meter Cards (100, 200, 300, 400, 500 meters). Once you have exactly 1,000 meters, show them to your opponents, then place them face up on the discard pile. (You may keep your excess Meter cards.) Next, take a Camp card and follow instructions on the reverse side. If instructed to keep the Camp card, place it face down on the table in front of you. Otherwise, return it face down at bottom of stack.

Camp cards may be collected in any sequence, but do not take a duplicate Camp card. Return the top Camp card to the bottom of the stack until a non-duplicate appears.

Once you collect all 4 Camp cards you must now draw exactly 1,000 meters. If you do so, discard your Meter cards, take a Summit card and follow instructions on the reverse side. If you draw a Meter card that causes you to go over 1,000 meters at the Summit, discard all Meter cards and start collecting once again. When playing Camp and Summit cards you should arrange them to create a mountain.

When drawing cards from the playing deck, besides meter cards you might draw one of four gear cards (Rope, Helmet, Ice Ax) or one of three Danger cards (Fall, Rock, Ice). Collect Gear cards to protect you against Danger cards.

If you draw a Danger card, play it face up on another player whose turn it then becomes. The receiver must discard it along with all of their Meter cards unless they have the matching Gear card. In that case, they discard the Danger and matching Gear card together and draw again. Play continues to their left. You are not allowed to draw Danger cards from the discard pile.

The Danger cards do not tell you which cards match what gear, though it’s fairly intuitive. For that you must refer to the instruction sheet which says that Rope matches Fall, Helmet matches Rock, and Ice Ax matches Ice.

There are two additional danger cards that don’t have gear to beat them. Those are the Avalanche and Yeti Cards. If you draw one of these, follow instructions on the cards. You are not allowed to draw these cards off the discard pile.

For solitaire game, you try to reach the Summit without reshuffling the deck, and you’re not allowed to draw off the discard pile.

What does play feel like?

This game plays a lot like Mille Bornes but there’s no stalling an opponent with an obstacle. In this game you simply lose your mileage, not sit around waiting for the matching gear card to remove the obstacle so that you can continue while your opponent moves ahead.

With its take one card at a time mechanic, there’s little strategy to this game. You stockpile gear and mileage cards, and it’s simply a race to the Summit. The luck of the cards drawn rules.

There are only two “made it” cards in the Summit deck, and while that deck is small (6 cards) the game can really drag as you cycle through the playing deck, collecting the correct meters, then trying to draw one of the two winning cards. By this late in the game, winning boils down to who draws that card first.

Because there’s no real blockage in the game, you all reach the Summit phase at about the same time. A shorter version of this game would consist of simply drawing cards from the Summit pile, and that’s it! yuk

I can only recommend this game for fans of the theme (rock and mountain climbing). And I hope this game plays better in the wilderness, just like food always tastes better when camping!
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