Hikers underestimate fitness abilities and equipment

Many injuries in the mountains are due to improper shoes, says chief of mountain rescuers.

(Source: TASR)

Mountain rescuers in the past week were intervened when two hikers fell from a 300-metre height, helping the injured and lost hikers. Many underestimated warnings by the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Mountain Rescue Service, along with their physical condition and equipment.

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Chair of the Mountain Rescue Service (HZS), Marek Biskupič, said that people should not underestimate the mountains.

“Injuries do not only occur in difficult mountain sections, but also on regular touristic routes, such as the Waterfalls of Studený Potok, forest trails and touristic routes,” he said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “It is necessary to always be careful and first of all, think of your own safety.”

Before the hike itself, it is necessary to learn the current weather as first, HZS says. In October, a person should also find out the degree of avalanche danger in the locality they want to visit.

When injured or lost in the mountains, who do you call? Read more 

Warnings against snow and ice are currently in the High Tatras and Western Tatras.

“If someone is starting to move in the mountains, they should gradually increase the difficulty of the hike and be adequately equipped for the given terrain,” the director of mountain rescuers told SITA. “We repeatedly help tourists who wore inappropriate shoes. Footwear causes a majority of injuries. It's a gamble with your own health.”

According to the HZS, localisation increases the chance of saving a person in the event of a fall, accident or getting lost. Therefore, HZS recommends that tourists heading to the mountains install the HZS application, and save the phone numbers for the emergency line or phone numbers for the HZS operation centres, depending on the location.

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