Safety on the mountain
Even experienced mountaineers have a healthy respect for the mountains and take their precautions when they go out on a hike. The mountain is undoubtedly beautiful, but can also present challenges. You should therefore ensure that you have enough training, experience, local knowledge and equipment required for your trip.
Always remember to notify someone you know that you are going out, which route you have planned to follow, and when you have planned to arrive back. Always check the weather forecast and remember that conditions can change quickly. Plan what to do if there is poor visibility, darkness, or weather deterioration. Always consider whether it is best to turn around or if there is a shorter way down. Do you have enough clothes on if the weather gets colder or it starts to rain?
If you are going for a walk in an unknown area you should always bring your mobile phone, map and compass. Follow paths that are well marked on the map, and follow the advice on signs and information boards along the way. Look out for the stone guards/markers made by rocks if you go astray in the mountains. The stone guards are often near marked paths, which can lead you to a safe place. Bring your flashlight, hat, gloves and extra sets of clothes on longer trips.
Many of the precautions you should take in the summer, you must also take in the winter. When it is cold outside, it is especially important that you dress in layers of wool, not get wet and that you have windproof outerwear.
The cold is your biggest problem in the winter, and the best thing you can do is to stay dry and have enough warm clothes with you. If you have to lie down, be sure to isolate yourself from the ground or the snow so that you do not lose too much body heat.
If you run out of drink, don’t be afraid to eat snow as long as it looks clean and untouched. Protect your sight on a walk with sunglasses. The sun reflected from the snow can be strong and can make you snow-blind in the extreme cases. If you have to camp or dig down, set up your skis at intersections to make it easier for rescue teams to see where you are in the distance. Avoid avalanches by not walking on an overhang or avalanche site. Remember to check the avalanche warning before going on a trip (www.varsom.no)
Photo: Vegard Stien
110 – Fire
112 – Police
113 – Medical
120 – Assistance at sea
The Norwegian mountain code
- Plan your trip and inform others about the route you have selected.
- Adapt the planned routes according to ability and conditions.
- Pay attention to the weather and avalanche warnings.
- Be prepared for bad weather and frost, even on short trips
- Bring the necessary equipment so you can help yourself and others.
- Choose safe routes. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice.
- Use a map and a compass. Always know where you are.
- Don’t be ashamed to turn around
- Conserve your energy and seek shelter if necessary.