Golden rules in the mountains

In the mountains, or during any active (outdoor) sport, there are a few rules applicable. Most of them aren’t carved in stone, most of them are common sense. For your own safety, the safety of others and preservation of nature, environment and fun. Not just your fun – fun of others too.

  1. When in doubt about the weather conditions: don’t head for the mountaints. Make sure you are familiair with your local weather forecast, ask locals and be prepared if things turn out to be not as expected.
  2. When in doubt about your own physical abilities or the condition of others: don’t go. Overestimation of your own abilities is a familiar phenomenon. A route on the map often looks shorter than reality is: the map is 2D, the mountains very much 3D. Bear in mind that 1km on a 45° slope is 2km long! And, on the most commonly used maps, not all bends and twists are annotated…
  3. Get yourself familiar with some basic knowledge of meteorology. It’s good to be able to not overreact to the circumstances. It’s better yet to be able to not freeze (literally) when the adverse weather strikes. Signs are in the skies – most of the times.
  4. Check the circumstances with locals. Local guides, shepherds or village dewellers know much better than you or your map if there has been some recent avalanche or land slides, if certain bridges are washed out or cabins damaged and not staffed!
  5. Make sure your equipment is complete. This doesn’t mean that you need to carry with you everything that you can think of. But do make sure you’ve got the bare minimum: warm clothing, a small blanket, a whistle, first-aid kit and a map. Yes, a map on paper. And obviously: make sure that you know how to read it, too!
  6. Know your way. Prepare! Be aware of local huts and villages, route splits, junctions etc. This will help when it gets foggy, or to keep motivation high when the rain sets in. It also allows you to enjoy the surroundings much better: after all, you don’t need to stop every 10 minutes to get your bearings!
  7. If the fog sets in really fast and becomes to thick to navigate: stay put. You could become disoriented and get lost. The only thing worse than fog in the mountains is lightning.
  8. In doubt? Get back. It’s not a disgrace to turn around. Better to be part of making new memories than becoming a memory to others.
  9. Keep the surroundings clean and the noise level civilized. Others want to enjoy the surroundings like you do. And please, if you want to listen to music: ear plugs are the thing to use. Not speakers. Just as much: don’t yell to one another. Just wait until the other party can hear you from a smaller distance. Unless it’s an emergency, obviously.
  10. Get enough food and drinks for along the road. Food is something you could take a gamle on. Your body has plenty reserves. Water is much more dangerous. Especially in area’s which are too low to have perennial snow or glaciers, but where the hike is still far above the tree line.

Laat een reactie achter