Conditions in the mountains are wintry

conditions in the mountains are wintry

Conditions in the mountains are wintry

Conditions in the mountains are wintry

Careful, the conditions in the mountains are wintry: “Walking in the mountains in winter has become a trend.”
The mountain conditions have been wintry for several weeks, so great caution, appropriate equipment, and good preparation are necessary, as visiting the mountains in winter is very demanding.

It is essential to choose a tour suitable for your abilities, considering that the days are shorter and mountain huts are closed, experts advise.

Erjavčeva mountain hut is the only mountain hut open the whole year at Vršič pass.

Be warned that snow has already covered the mountain world extensively, and the beauty of snowy mountains brings numerous pitfalls. “We must consider that mountains are much more unpredictable in winter than summer. We have shorter days, low temperatures, and a whole range of different snow conditions that require the right approach and equipment,” emphasized Damjan Omerzu, the general secretary of the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia and an instructor of mountain education, at a practical press conference in Pokljuka.

conditions in the mountains are wintry

In addition to waterproof, well-insulated boots with a quality ribbed stiff sole, essential equipment for a winter mountaineering adventure also includes warm clothing, a thermal bottle with non-alcoholic drinks, a mountain map, first aid kit, sunglasses, a headlamp, as well as crampons, ice axe, and an avalanche kit with a probe, shovel, and beacon. For those who spend a lot of time in the mountains and ski tourers, they also recommend an avalanche backpack. A helmet, listed alpine instructor and mountain rescuer Matjaž Šerkezi, is also advisable.

conditions in the mountains are wintry

Today, with colleagues, he demonstrated the correct use of the mentioned equipment because more is needed for a hiker to have the equipment; they must also know how to use it. “The equipment itself is not a crucial problem, as it is easily accessible, and people can acquire it. Its correct use in specific situations is the challenge we now pay the most attention to,” emphasized Omerzu.

conditions in the mountains are wintry

If you are planning your first winter ascent into the mountains, the experts advise assistance, both with training and with the guidance of a guide. “Theory alone is not enough; it must be followed by practice under professional guidance and the gradual accumulation of experience, which over time shapes an independent mountaineer,” emphasized Omerzu, adding that many different workshops, training sessions, and guides are available.

After the April accident, when an avalanche under Malo Mojstrovko, near Erjavčeva mountain hut,  took five mountaineers on a tour without the proper license, the appropriate training of guides is also under closer scrutiny. Omerzu explained that there are two groups of professionally trained personnel in Slovenia: the first are guides affiliated with the Association of Mountain Guides of Slovenia, and the second are guides of the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia, who are enrolled in the register of professional sports workers.

conditions in the mountains are wintry

After guiding and training, there is an increasing demand, just as the number of mountain visits also grows in summer and winter. “Walking in the mountains in winter has become a trend. People have replaced stadiums and gyms with mountains and rush into the hills en masse at the first snow. They are attracted by the footage of perhaps outstanding and experienced mountaineers and are not aware that in the mountains, you can’t just quit if you’re tired; you have to descend to the valley,” warned Martin Šolar, the vice president of the Mountaineering Association of Slovenia.

As Šerkezi emphasized about the rules of visiting mountains in winter, experience and knowledge are the most important, which must be constantly refreshed. Choosing a tour that suits your abilities is essential, considering that the days are shorter and mountain huts are closed. We must have all the necessary equipment with us and constantly check and monitor the conditions in the mountains. Above all, it is crucial to know when to turn back.

conditions in the mountains are wintry

Conditions in the mountains are wintry

“Many things can await us in the mountains, and it’s not the end of the world but simply a sign of seriousness and responsibility if we assess that it is no longer safe to continue, that we simply turn around, safely return home, and embark on the goal another time,” also emphasized Omerzu.

It is essential to choose a tour suitable for your abilities, considering that the days are shorter and mountain huts are closed, experts advise.

Erjavčeva mountain hut is the only mountain hut open the whole year at Vršič pass.

Source: RTVSLO

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