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Klettersteig Gargellner Köpfe im Montafon, Sicherheit am Berg © Christoph Schöch / Bergbahnen Gargellen
Important tips

Safe in the mountains

Useful safety tips for tour planning, equipment, weather forecasts, mountain emergencies etc.

HIKING – tips for a safe mountain experience

  • Approach everything with a slower pace at the start of your holiday. The body needs time to adapt to the altitude and exercise.
  • Plan your mountain tour with the aid of hiking maps and books and tailor it to the season and your fitness level.
  • For your safety: Inform someone at your accommodation of where you are going and let them know if you will arrive back later than planned.
  • Stick to the marked hiking trails. Be extra careful on steep snowy areas and wet grassy slopes.
Equipment
  • Approach everything with a slower pace at the start of your holiday. The body needs time to adapt to the altitude and exercise.
  • Plan your mountain tour with the aid of hiking maps and books and tailor it to the season and your fitness level.
  • For your safety: Inform someone at your accommodation of where you are going and let them know if you will arrive back later than planned.
  • Stick to the marked hiking trails. Be extra careful on steep snowy areas and wet grassy slopes.
What important information should be taken from the weather forecast?
  • Follow the general trends: How is the weather developing over the course of the day? Take note of any storms or cold fronts (good weather immediately beforehand can be deceptive).
  • Temperatures change at high altitude. In good weather, temperatures fall by approx. 1°C per 100m altitude.
  • Keep checking the current conditions against the forecast throughout the tour. If the weather worsens, turn back immediately!

MOUNTAIN BIKE – Fair on the mountain

Mountain biking routes take bikers onto terrain where conditions require a high level of personal responsibility. It is therefore important to follow specific rules of conduct so as to avoid confrontation and stay safe.

This includes in particular:

  • Responsible biking with controlled speed and good visibility.
  • Obstacles may appear at any time, especially around bends! (Stones, branches, damage to the track, stacked timber, grazing livestock, vehicles, blockages to the route etc.)
  • Hikers and pedestrians have priority. Overtake carefully and at walking pace.
  • Agriculture and forestry take priority on the designated trails. Pasture gates should be closed behind you and any temporary route closures observed.
  • Do not stray from the designated, signposted routes so as to protect nature and wildlife habitats.
  • Good tour planning should take into account the route’s difficulty rating and one’s own ability. This includes a helmet, protective equipment and a mountain bike in perfect technical condition.

If, despite taking all these precautions, you get into danger or experience a mountain emergency,

  • you should sound the Alpine emergency signal (visible and audible signal, 6 x per minute, one minute break and repeat until you receive a response)
  • or dial one of the emergency numbers:
    140 – Alpine emergencies in Austria
    144 – Alpine emergencies in Vorarlberg
    112 – Euro emergency number
    (if you do not have any mobile phone reception in the event of an emergency, switch off your phone, turn back on again and enter 112 instead of the pin code or press the SOS button)
  • Make sure you answer they key questions accurately when reporting an accident:
    WHO is calling? WHERE exactly is the accident? WHAT has happened? HOW MANY people need help?

Coverage of mountain rescue costs
For a fee of € 22, the Austrian Mountain Rescue Service provides insurance to cover any search and rescue costs of terrestrial or air rescue for the customer, spouse/life partner and any children up to the age of 18.