Safety in the mountains
What to do in case of a thunderstorm? How to deal with grazing animals? How to behave when an emergency occurs? We would like to give you some useful answers to your questions. Because travelling in comfort means not only hiking in the mountains with ease but also being safe. For this reason we present the most important guidelines for safe mountain hiking.
Safety guidelines in case of a thunderstorm
Despite thorough planning, thunderstorms could always occur. In this case make sure you
- are not on ridges, peaks or near by water channels
- do not seek shelter under isolated trees, entrances of caves or at the foot of a cliff
- instead, look for shelter in valleys or hollows. Unfortunately, only huts can guarantee full safety
In case of an imminent thunderstorm, you should rather turn around and look out for a house with a lightning arrester. Warning signs are
- hot and humid weather conditions or cumulus clouds in the sky
- cumulus clouds with a dark underside and tattered verges, or rolling thunder
If any of the above mentioned warning signs occur, make sure to find shelter in a hollow in an open space and sit in it with your legs closed.
CAUTION! Danger of life is at hand when your hair rises or you notice a crackling sound – the air is then electrically charged – you should immediately leave the danger zone!
Guidelines concerning animals
In Alpine areas you will encounter numerous animals: cows, sheep, horses,… . Animals normally don‘ t feel threatened when you keep calm and quiet and show no fear. In case you are a bit scared, take one of your hiking sticks or a branch – these will help you gain the needed self-assurance.
Most of the time animals are just curious and want to play. This is often the case with young animals: make sure you have no contact! Mother animals might feel the instinctive urge to protect and defend their offspring.
Especially dog owners ought to have their dog on a leash while crossing grazing areas. In case an animal tries to attack your dog, it is advised for your own safety to let go of the leash.
What to do if something really happens
In case of emergencies
The chances of being involved in an emergency on the mountain are very low. However, exceptions prove the rule despite all the given precautions. Correct behaviour can therefore be life-saving.
Threatening situations are nerve challenging, and for that reason it is of the utmost importance to stay calm.
In case someone gets hurt, the injured person should stay in a secured area and easily visible. Never leave an injured person alone!
Try an emergency call via your mobile phone, or fetch help by giving signals like calling, whistling or waving a piece of your clothing.
If you have no mobile signal, move to a different spot and try again, dailing 112. Make sure to install the emergency app of the Tyrolean mountain rescue team on your smartphone. The app helps you to send an emergency call and at the same time, transmits your location. When reporting an accident, following information is important:
- Who is giving the emergency call and leave a recall-number
- Where exactly did the accident happen?
- What happened?
- How many injured persons are involved?
140: Mountain rescue – Alpine emergency
112: European emergency (works with all mobile phones and networks)
10 golden rules for successful hiking tours
Thorough planning, honest self-evaluation and a mindful interaction with nature and animals are crucial elements for successful hiking. To turn your tour into a memorable event, we would like to provide you with the most important hiking rules.
1. BEING-WELL IN THE MOUNTAINS
Mountain hiking is an endurance sport, so before each tour, you should check your stamina and know your energy levels. Walk with a comfortable pace that suits not only yourself but also other group members. Decide about a hiking distance that matches your condition and therefore, avoid any time pressure.
2. PLANNING IS EVERYTHING
Plan each hike thoroughly. Hiking maps or guide books, internet and experts will be helpful. Inform yourself about difficulty levels, hiking distance, altitudes and current path conditions. It is important to check weather forecasts since wind, rain, cold temperatures and thunderstorms increase the risk of accidents. Preferably, you ask in the morning at the reception or during your lunch break the inn keeper in case you are unsure.
3. ADJUST YOUR EQUIPMENT
Your Rucksack should be adjusted to your planned activity, therefore, always check the weight of your Rucksack while packing. Essential items like protection against rain, sun and the cold, as well as a First-aid set and mobile phone always belong in your Rucksack. Maps & compass, apps and GPS enable easy orientation.
THE RIGHT CHOICE OF SHOES
Fitting hiking shoes not only relieve and protect your feet, but also increase your surefootedness during hiking. For that reason make sure your shoes fit you perfectly and pay attention to waterproofness and a grip sole.
5. CAREFUL WALKING
High pace or weariness can strongly affect your surefootedness and concentration. This might end in a fall due to stumbling or slipping, the most common accident cause. Be focused, especially during your descent when your daily stage has been achieved and your concentration decreases. This way you can also avoid falling rocks.
6. STAY ON SIGNPOSTED PATHS
Keep to signposts and don’t take shortcuts. Leaving signposted paths increases the risk of loosing your orientation, falling rocks and falls in general. In case you lose your way, return to the last remembered spot. Old snow fields can be very dangerous and are often underestimated.
7. BREAKS ARE THE KEY TO SUCCESS
With carefully timed breaks you grant your body a moment of recovery. Meanwhile enjoy the surrounding landscape. In order to maintain your concentration and performance capability, you need food but especially something to drink. Isotonic beverages or water-downed juices will not only satisfy your thirst but also provide you with vitamins and minerals.
8. RESPONSIBILITY FOR CHILDREN
To have fun and a lot of variety is important when hiking with children. During route sections with a higher risk of falling however, each adult can only supervise one child. Hiking distances should be planned according to your little ones, avoiding also routes that are too demanding on their concentration.
9. TOGETHER ON THE ROAD
Hiking in a group means mutual assistance and allows flexibility. Before you go on a hike, we recommend to inform trusted persons or your accommodation about hiking destiny, route and if necessary your planned time of return. Your entries in summit registers or hut guest books can also help to locate you in case of an emergency.
10.RESPECT NATURE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Respect and protect nature and the environment: stay on paths and don’t leave behind any waste. Everything you bring with you on the mountains, needs to be taken back to the valley. Avoid clamour and try not to disturb wild and grazing animals. While crossing grazing areas, dogs must be on a leash. Plants, especially those in nature reserves, are not to be touched. Use public transport or car sharing for your journey.
2 Difficulty Levels
Individually or guided?
Along the Innsbruck Trek you have the possibility to travel either individually and according to your own pace and desired date, or together with a certified ASI mountain guide on a fixed date.
The individual option of the Innsbruck Trek is for all those who love hiking according to their own rhythm. Each day will be adapted to one‘ s request, like getting up in the morning just as you please. Choosing a pretty spot during your hike to eat an apple. Or adjusting the walking pace to your daily condition. Yet having no guided tour does not mean to go without service. All accommodations will be booked, hikers receive detailed travel documents, maps, luggage transport and a 24/7 service number. However: if you choose the individual option without a guide, inspired by the call for adventure, you should bring with you experience with reading hiking maps and route descriptions and have a sense of direction.
In this guided version our guests will hike the Innsbruck Trek together with like-minded people and an experienced certified ASI mountain- and hiking guide. The guide knows the mountains surrounding Innsbruck inside out, and tells on the way the one or other anecdote. Hiking with a group does not necessarily mean to walk with a great number of people: we focus on small groups in order to provide enough time for individual exploration and flexibility. This includes also the option to choose each day between two different routes with various levels of difficulty.
In addition to that, ‘easygoingness‘ will also be on the agenda. As it is the case with the individual option of the Innsbruck Trek, you will hike with a light daysack. Your whole luggage, including also your extra clothes, awaits you already at the accommodation at the end of each hiking day.