cepinMountaineering is a very popular activity combining recreation, relaxation, enjoyment in nature, but unfortunately also danger.

Almost one million people visit Slovenian mountains every year, which gives people a false sense of security and the number of accidents increases.

The most frequent causes of accidents are physical and psychological unfitness, deficient and inadequate equipment, lack of skill and knowledge about correct movement and the use of equipment, unfamiliarity with the trails and underestimation of the weather conditions in the mountains, where winter and summer meet. The statistics of accidents in the mountain shows that sliding and falling rocks are the most common causes of accidents in our mountains.

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To avoid accidents, there are certain rules to be obeyed in the mountains

Preparations for a mountain ascent or hike:

  1. Start the ascent or hike early enough to avoid early dusk in winter or quick and thus careless descent.
  2. Find out about the weather (risk of summer thunderstorms, etc.) and the category of the mountain trail, which will facilitate the planning of the ascent and preparations for it.
  3. The purpose of your ascent or hike is no doubt a safe return home and not just conquering the mountain. When you are on the top, you still have at least half the way in front of you. If you can, choose a more difficult route on the way up and an easier one for descent. And do not hurry.
  4. The ascent should be suited to your health condition. Humidity and high temperatures may be fatal for some people. Mountain hikes are not recommended to people with any health problems. Consult your doctor before undertaking any strenuous activity.
  5. The trail's difficulty level also dictates the mountaineer's equipment. Hiking boots must be a constituent part of personal equipment since soft shoes are very dangerous. Beside food, drink and personal documents your rucksack should also contain gloves, a hat, a windcheater, protective cream, sunglasses, spare clothes, a compass, a map of the mountains, a first-aid kit with protective foil, a whistle, a bivouac - sleeping bag, matches, a candle and a torch, a mobile phone. Depending on the chosen route, the above may have to be complemented with additional, specialised items (climbing rope, an ice pick, sometimes also crampons and a helmet).
  6. Choose a suitable companion for the ascent or hike. Going alone to the mountains is dangerous and may be fatal already in case of a minor injury. It is recommended that you go with a guide of the Alpine Association of Slovenia, Slovenian Association of Mountain Guides or with somebody who knows the way very well.
  7. Inform your family about the intended route and the duration so that they can act appropriately if you are not back at the agreed time due to an accident.
  8. If you want to spend the night at a mountain hut, make enquiries about the opening time and book a bed.

palica Hiking in the mountains:

  1. Start slowly so that your body has time to warm up. Walk at a steady pace, which you try to find and maintain also within a large group.
  2. Your walking should be safe, comfortable and economical. To walk safely you should take your time and pay attention to the surroundings and listen - falling rocks are often announced by rumbling.
  3. The basic pace as well as rests and the duration of walking should be determined by the weakest member of the group. You should have a five-minute rest every hour.
  4. If you go to the mountains with children, you have to pay them special attention and entirely accommodate yourself to them.
  5. For your own safety you should enter your name in the register book at mountain huts and peaks.
  6. Keep your eyes open on the path. You cannot afford to be absent-minded or careless in the mountains. A well-marked mountain path is only a condition and possibility of achieving the set goal, but you should also be familiar with the basics of navigation.
  7. Throughout the trip you should check the weather and make adjustments accordingly. If storm clouds develop, you should immediately leave ridges and other exposed places, for this is where lightning most often strikes.
  8. For longer rests you should choose places which are safe and comfortable. Regular snacks and frequent drinking prevent exhaustion and dehydration.
  9. Make sure to take everything you brought to the mountains back down with you.
  10. When you feel signs of tiredness or exhaustion, take a longer rest. If you feel faint or have a pain in the chest, stop ascending or descending immediately. Call 112 and you will be put through to doctors and mountain rescue service, who can give you advice over the phone until the arrival of the rescuers.
  11. If you are in danger, save your strength and find shelter while you still can.
  12. If there is an accident, it is a duty of every hiker to help as much as they are able to.
  13. An injured person should first of all be protected from further injuries and be given first aid. Inform the mountain rescue service of the accident on 112 and the police on 113.
Observing the above advice and your abilities shall guarantee that you return from the mountains with pleasant experiences.