The start of a new year is also the time to begin taking classes for this summers outing. Many of the mountaineering clubs are now offering mountaineering courses. The standard Mountaineering course covers the basics of rock climbing, mountaineering, and even ice climbing.
It is always a good idea, when going outdoors, to have some knowledge of how to stay safe. When staying safe the experience is much more enjoyable and comfortable. Being on the mountain has enough discomfort without adding the danger of ignorance.
Usually the courses require membership in the club and a bit of commitment in time and finances. Outdoor equipment for snow and ice does not always come cheap. For the beginner, however, there are discount stores which carry most of what you need. Army surplus stores are a good example.
Education is one of the keys to making your experience outdoors enjoyable and also to enriching your life.