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Mountains can be among the best places to survive a zombie apocalypse, though not all of them. Ideally you would have something like the Alps in Europe, with steep rock walls to build on top of to be as hard to reach as possible but also:
- Alpine meadows, which are fit for agriculture and pastoralism (keeping animals) and allowing you to survey the area around you and spot threats from afar,
- Plenty of brooks from melting water from the mountaintops (and in the winter when the streams are frozen you can melt snow to get fresh water),
- Forests here and there for resources, rocky areas higher up for more resources,
- Game, possibly herds of sheep or goats to herd on the meadows (just pray that your variety of zombie apocalypse doesn't involve zombie animals!) left behind, carnivorous wildlife may also be scared off from their slain prey allowing you to scavenge their leftovers meaning you don't have to hunt for yourself but don't count on that happening too often,
- Very low population and most of it in the valley (where it would be more likely that the zeds would travel through the populous valleys ignoring the emptier, higher up places which are also harder to reach),
- Smaller settlements up in the mountains may have been remote enough to not even have been touched by the apocalypse, and might mean a community to rebuild from. This would be ideal since a high-up small settlement with lots of forests around could easily be fortified and turned into a formidable base away from significant numbers of zeds that could be alerted to its presence. So even if shit were to hit the fan, it would not be very bad on a remote mountain settlement. On the downside, a mountain settlement could have become a base for raiders and bandits. Survey a settlement to determine what kind of people live there if possible before exposing yourself to them; though chances are they will see you before you see them, so as always be cautious.
- Empty cabins and ski resorts and the likes to scavenge from, there will not have been a great deal of people there especially not in non tourist seasons so if the apocalypse happened in, say, October, they will not have a lot of zeds in them if any at all, maybe it will even still have the resort owners and a couple of tourists alive and holed up or something along those lines since if they recognized the threat early on, they will have realized their fortunate position high up. Do note this may mean bandits here and there but they are more likely to scavenge and raid into the valleys than into your remote cabin, though if they know of its existence they may deem you an easy target and pick you off, so make sure you know your neighbours if you have any.
- Note that this article is mostly talking about the Alps, some mountain ranges are even more remote and may have even more favourable conditions. Do note that, say, the Himalayas are far too bare to allow all but experienced yak herds or whatever to survive. Or if you have a lot of canned food and such you may hole up very high up the mountain and try not to freeze to death. This all depends on the level of your preperation and expertise.
- Lots of 10 meter+ falls to commit suicide from without reanimating should it come to that. This could also be a disadvantage cause you might accidentally slip. But proper exercise of caution will remedy that.
Mountains also come with some disadvantages:Edit
- If there are large settlements nearby chances are its citizens will flee to the mountains for exactly the reasons listed above. If you have a map of sorts try to determine a place that is both far away from large settlements and close enough to smaller settlements to forage from or to explore for help.
- In all but parts North America there will be close to zero chance of finding guns in scarcely populated areas. You're gonna be working with improvised ranged weapons and mostly melee weapons probably. Unless there's a military base nearby, in which case you might get lucky since it will be relatively remote so less likely to have been overrun or plundered yet. (On the flip side, less guns = less threat from bandits. Two men with melee weapons are more likely to cooperate than one with a baseball bat and one with a gun pointed at the other's head. It puts you on equal terms)
- Cold. Very cold, possibly. You're going to want to have a way of bringing down some trees or safely gathering firewood to store for fall, winter and early spring or you're going to suffer. Remember, the higher you get the colder it becomes. On the flip side, this impedes movement for foes as well and makes them easy to spot. It also slows decay on zeds though, which is nasty. Build fires in sheltered places or basically places where they won't be a beacon for both the living and the dead to flock to, preferably in small mountainside caves if applicable.
- Oh yeah, caves. Caves are nasty. With bigger networks you can't be sure where all entrances are until you explore them and exploring dark, small crevices is dangerous, even without zeds. With zeds, it becomes suicidal. Probably best to block these ones off and don't build too close to them. Small, one-entrance caves however can be used as storage. Using them as a base is possible but you'll have, well, one entrance and not an advantageous one at that unless you fortify it properly, which could turn out to be a death trap.
- Wildlife can be hunted, yes, but some of it can also hunt you. Bears, mountain lions, depending on where you are the wildlife may be dangerous and depending on the type of apocalypse they may also zombify and go apeshit on you as a result. They can be killed for their fur though. You might get to the point where you'll need to turn bedsheets and similar into clothing (cloaking yourself in bear fur sounds badass but it may well weigh you down or impede movement unless you're good at making clothes, better to use them for blankets or insulation instead and use scavenged linen sheets and similar stuff for clothes instead)
- Some mountains have rather exposed mountainsides making you very visible and naked to the eye of everything that walks upright or shuffles in the mountains and valleys surrounding you. Could be bad. Depends on where you choose to settle your base, again.
- Avalanches. Snow or rock, don't matter. They can kill you, or the zeds or bandits they could attract may kill you. Avoid making lots of noise near steep, unstable things (heck, avoid making lots of noise in general...) to avoid this happening. The environment can kill you as quickly as any bite to the neck.
- Not a lot of scavenging high up in the mountains itself. To scavenge, loot or raid you will have to descend into the valleys for the big loot, and the lush, populated, easily accessible valleys are where the zeds and more daring raiders are. This is not an inconvenience if you are self-sustaining in the higher reaches of the mountains, but you probably won't be self-sustaining for the first few months at least unless you're really good.