Mountain Code and Hiking Etiquette
With a few simple tips and rules you can enjoy the Dolomites mountains even more
In the second half of the 18th century, it was mainly local " lads " who climbed our mountains and only now and then some " foreigner " joined them. After the Second World War, summer tourism increased year after year and more and more alpinists became interested in our Dolomite world.
Today in our valleys you meet people from all over the world, from experienced mountaineers to newcomers, all with the same goal: to discover and enjoy our nature and our mountains, to test their own limits and to share the happiness of the summits. Yeas, because mountains make you happy!
In order to allow all mountain enthusiasts to experience and explore our Dolomites in their full splendour, we have put together, in collaboration with local mountaineers and mountain guides, some useful tips on how to approach the mountains safely and enjoyably.
Well planned is half the hike!
Choose a hike that is suitable for all group members and plan the route in advance.
Check the weather and trail conditions. If possible, seek advice from experienced mountaineers.
Inform your holiday companions or landlord about the destination.
Sufficient hydration is especially important during exertion. Here you will find a list of drinking water sources in our area.
Fit for the Dolomites?
Are you looking forward to a nice hike in the mountains? Great! The Dolomites are waiting for you. Before deciding on your destination and itinerary, just a few small tips:
- Choose a route suitable for you and your companion's abilities. Steady pace and a lack of vertigo are a prerequisite for high-mountains trekking.
- Learn more about length, altitude, altitude difference, walking time and characteristics of the trail.
- Do not underestimate your limits. Don't take unnecessary risks; if you don't feel like continuing, turn back. You don't have to prove anything to anyone!
- Don't be tempted by peer pressure and don't undertake the most difficult hike on the first day of your holiday.
Equipment, rucksack and off you go!
There is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. This is especially true in the mountains, where the weather can change quickly. Therefore, experienced mountain hikers recommend the onion principle: an ingenious system for always being properly dressed when hiking. Thanks to the different layers, you can adapt quickly and specifically to the most varied weather situations.
Good footwear is indispensable when hiking in the mountains. Sandals and flip-flops should definitely be avoided. Shoes with a stable grip and a slip-resistant profile sole help in steep terrain and when going downhill. To avoid the risk of blisters, you should wear your hiking shoes a few times for short walks before you go on a longer tour.
Hiking or trekking poles can make walking easier. Especially downhill, the use of poles relieves the joints.
The hiking rucksack: checklist
• Hiking map
• Windbreaker and change of clothes
• Drinks and light snacks
• Sunscreen and headgear
• First aid kit with blister plaster
• Some cash (not everywhere on the mountain credit card payment is possible)
• Mobile phone can be useful when it comes to calling for help. European emergency number: 112
• Last but not least: Do not forget a bag for your own waste!
For mountain hikers, mountain etiquette is a matter of honor
There are no written rules that tell how one should behave in the mountains. However, a number of good practices and habits have been established among mountain lovers over the years.
- Nature is fragile. Help us protect it: avoid unnecessary noise, don't litter, respect vegetation, nature reserves and parks, plants and animals.
- Follow the signs and stay on marked trails and paths.
- Between hikers it is customary to greet each other when you cross paths. Maybe just a nod of the head or a greeting in Ladino: "Bun de" - good morning and "Bun domisdé" - in the afternoon.
- In principle, every adult is obliged to provide first aid if necessary. This also applies in the mountains. However, self-protection is the first priority. So do not put yourself in danger. Get an overview of the situation and alert the mountain rescue service. South Tyrol Mountain Rescue Centre: Tel.112
- If the road becomes narrow, let the ascending person have the right of way. It is usually no problem for the descender to stop briefly to let the ascender go ahead.
- Grazing cattle are an idyllic sight. Watch the animals from a distance but try not to feed or stroke them. It can have unpleasant consequences for you.