Climbing Safety - Many years ago, The Mountaineers devised a set of guidelines to help people conduct themselves safely in the mountains. Based on careful observation of the habits of skilled climbers and a thoughtful analysis of accidents, it has served well for not only climbers but, with slight adaptation, for all wilderness travelers. It is not inflexible doctrine, but the above climbing code has proven to be a sound guide to practices that minimize risk. Below I have included 9 important safety points that were taken from the book "Mountaineering The Freedom Of The Hills" It is books like the aforementioned that should be studied as noted in rule number eight.
I cannot tell you how many mishaps, rotten circumstances, and accidents that myself and my companions could have avoided if we just would have followed the below safety rules. Many climbers figure that once they reach the summit that the climb is basically over. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is reported that 80% of the fatalities in climbing occur on the way down. Inadequate protection along with anchors pulling out continue to figure heavily in direct and contributory causes for injuries and fatalities.
So take all precautions and gain all the skills you can. They will serve you well in the wilderness. But with all that being said, it is also proper to mentions this. Even the most skilled and prudent climbers loose their lives. Unforeseen circumstances (rock fall, avalanche, weather, etc.) along with the inherent dangers of mountaineering have (and will continue) to take their toll. Therefore, the need for the last verse in the above code. I strongly believe that acknowledging the Lord in all you do is a vital part of any endeavor in life. He is the creator of all things, (including you and me), and He is more than able to direct ones path from beginning to end.
- A climbing party of three is the minimum, unless adequate prearranged support is available. On glaciers, a minimum of two rope teams is recommended.
- Rope up on all exposed places and for all glacier travel. Anchor all belays.
- Keep the party together, and obey the leader or majority rule.
- Never climb beyond your ability and knowledge.
- Never let judgment be overruled by desire when choosing the route or deciding whether to turn back.
- Carry the necessary clothing, food, and equipment at all times.
- Leave the trip itinerary with a responsible person.
- Follow the precepts of sound mountaineering as set forth in textbooks of recognized merit.
- Behave at all times in a manner that reflects favorably upon mountaineering, with minimum impact to the environment.
Lastly....In all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and he will make your paths straight.
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