Safety precaution tips for mountains
Slovenian mountains are stunning. But what most people forget is that great views demand a well-prepared mountaineer with experience and knowledge and what is most important: appropriate equipment.
It is of great importance to be appropriately equipped when heading to high mountains. In the recent years, Slovenian mountains are gaining on popularity – no wonder, the views and lanscape are stunning – and this is why it is important to pinpoint that safety should come first. We can read about mountain accidents in the news, many of which could be well-prevented, if the mountaineers had been equipped properly. What many often rather overhear is the fact that mountains can turn into a very dangerous place – it is not uncommon at all to encounter vast snowfields even in late summer.
For this very reason, the Alpine Association of Slovenia has issued a leaflet with safety tips for summer mountaineering. In addition, an in-depth article entitled How to stay safe in the mountains in summer has also been written and put online. Make the best out of the trip to Slovenian Alps and act wisely. For proper preparation, read theleaflet with summer mountaineering safety tips.
Good preparation and planning are crucial for safety in the mountains and remember: “the top is only half way – our goal is to return safely!” Enjoy the views!
Source: the Alpine Association of Slovenia, slovenia.info, exploring Slovenia
Before embarking on your tour, ask yourself the following questions:
- How fit and mentally strong am I? Is the chosen tour suitable for me?
- What’s the weather forecast? Bad weather and poor visibility can make the tour up to ten times longer than planned. Do I have the right clothing to protect me from strong winds, cold, and rain (perhaps even snow)? Are there any huts, bivouacs, or shelters where I can retreat in case of an emergency?
- What are the characteristics of the trail I’ve chosen? Which direction will I be going (north, south, east, west)? Prepare a tour plan. Divide it into sections, plan enough stops, and estimate your walking time. Have a mental image of your tour and go through it in your mind.
- Have I packed everything I need for the tour?
- How long is my tour and how much time will it take? The top is only half way – our final goal is to safely return home.
- How steep is the terrain? Does the path zigzag, which takes more time (but is less tiring)?
- What’s the terrain like? Does the path cross boulder fields and scree slopes? Does it go through dwarf pine, which will slow me down?
- Does the path include difficult sections, such as torrent-beds or steep, exposed rock? Is there a way I can avoid them?
- Which hazards am I likely to encounter? Cliffs, steep grassy slopes, falling rock?
- How should I walk?
- What is the optimum speed? Does my group include children?
- Make sure to carefully plan all the details of your tour.
- Choose tours that are appropriate for the physical and mental fitness and health of all members of your group. Be careful if any of you have chronic diseases, allergies, or heart issues.
Plan and inform
Always tell someone about your route and estimated time of return.
Enter your name in summit books and sign-in books at huts. This could be of great help to mountain rescue teams in case of a search mission.
Good preparation andplanning are crucial for safety in the mountains. Deciding where to go on the spur of the moment is strongly discouraged.
- Check the weather forecast www.vreme.si.
- Book your stayat the mountain huts andfor ask hut managers about the condition of your chosen path. Cancelyour reservation if you change your plans.
- Get a hiking map and carefully plan your route. Use a guidebook when planning your tour; online data is useful rnainly for checkingthe current conditions. Mobile navigation apps can be useful, but they can’t replace areal paper map. The Locus Map app includes hiking maps of the Alpine Association of Slovenia.
- Get an early start. Thunderstorms are much more likely in the aftemoons and mountain huts are the onlyplace where you’re safefrom lightning.
Food and extra drinks can be bought at mountain huts. Your backpack will be lighter and your outing much more pleasant. Keep your garbage in your backpack, take it down to the valley, and sort it in separate containers. Bivouac huts are to be used in cases of emergency and not as tourism facilities.
ln case of an accident
The Slovenian Mountain Rescue Service is in charge of search and rescue missions in Slovenian mountains.
In case of an accident call or send an SMSwith the following details:
details of the accident
(WHAT, WHERE,AND WHEN),
HOWMANY are injured
and the extent of their injuries, THE KIND OF HEL you need.
Keep calm and don’t panic. Make sure that the whole group keeps a cool head. Evaluate the situation and protect YOURSEL F and the INJURED from additional hazards. Perform first aid to the best of your ability. Use the international air rescue signal only if there are no rescuers atthe site.
Keep in mind that it maytake several hours for help to arrive. Sometimes, a helicopter can’t fly due to heavywinds, bad weather, fog, etc. and mountain rescue teams have to get to the accident site on foot carrying all of their heavy gear. Regularly practice your first aid skills and always carry the required equipment. Alcohol and tobacco have no place in the mountains!
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