Slovenian Alpine Association advises on safety in the mountains in winter

Published: 22.12.2022 More info

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Slovenian Alpine Association advises on safety in the mountains in winter

When snow covers the mountains, the landscape and the way you walk change and become more difficult due to the deep snow cover. The days are shorter, mountain huts are closed, and signposts are hidden under the snow. A route that takes an hour in summer usually takes two hours or more. What kind of precautions can you take?

Slovenian Alpine Association advises on safety in the mountains in winter

Slovenian Alpine Association advises on safety in the mountains in winter, when the conditions become much more demanding. This requires some precautionary measures to be taken into account. In addition to mountaineering boots, you need equipment for walking in ice and snow; an ice axe, ice crampons, ice avalanche triplets. Of course, you need to know how to use these tools, otherwise they can be a hindrance or even life-threatening. It is also necessary to dress appropriately and correctly, to choose the right mountaineering shoes and a mountaineering rucksack.

The Slovenian Alpine Association (PZS) recommends that mountain visitors who are not skilled and do not have enough experience of their own join a mountaineering association and go to the mountains with them in organised groups under the guidance of lincenced guide. They also recommend acquiring or renewing knowledge about moving in the mountains. This knowledge can be obtained from the mountain associations and their mountain schools or by reading professional mountain literature.

In winter conditions, it is worth remembering:

  • Never hike alone in the mountains in winter!
  • Be properly equipped and learn how to use the equipment. 
  • Check the functioning of your avalanche beacon at home and at the starting point, change the batteries and use it consistently.
  • Before the start of the season, practise walking with crampons, correct use of the ice axe and stopping with the ice axe on a slope with a safe exit.
  • Choose routes appropriate to your psycho-physical abilities and adapt to the weakest participant on the tour.
  • When planning a tour, take into account the shortness of the day and leave early enough for the trip, tour or hike.
  • Check the opening hours of mountain huts (most of the huts in the high mountains and mid-mountains are closed).
  • Check the weather conditions and forecast several days before the tour.
  • Take note of the snow conditions - the height and condition of the snow cover and the risk of avalanches.
  • After heavy snowfall or thawing, do not go into the mountains for at least three days because of the increased risk of avalanches. 
  • Inform your family or close friends of your routes and plans.

Consider others when moving around, it will make the trip, tour or hike more enjoyable and free from unnecessary falls and bad moods.

Source: Alpine Association of Slovenia

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