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Climbing, skiing, backcountry travel and all outdoor recreational activities are potentially hazardous. A list of all associated hazards is beyond the scope of this website. Additionally, the information provided on this website is not a substitute for sound judgment nor good decision making. Inadequate experience, conditioning, equipment, supplies or evaluation of weather and/or conditions can result in injury or death. All those who choose to participate in outdoor recreational activities must assume full responsibility for their own actions and safety. recommends professional instruction, traveling with experienced partners and learning as much as possible about the activity in which you choose to participate. Respect private property rights and the environment. Leave only footprints and take only memories. As the popularity of outdoor recreational activities increases, so does the responsibility of people who participate in them. Taking the time to learn from experts will benefit you and the mountains/wilderness areas.

Tell someone where you will be parked, what your intended route is and when you expect to return. Know the area that you are visiting. Read about it in a guidebook and study it on a map or your GPS. Search for recent online trip reports to the area. If you are planning on traveling on snow, take an avalanche course. Two excellent books on avy science are...

Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain

Anyone planning on doing any mountaineering should read...

Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

Reading these books is no substitute for experience but they do offer information that will be useful in the mountains. Together, they comprise a comprehensive reference library.

Learn weather forecasting and check forecasts and data daily. The ability to find favorable patterns in the weather provides you with a vehicle to a higher success rate. Always be prepared for extreme conditions in the mountains. Go to the mountains with the understanding that the best treatment for accute mountain sickness is descent. If you find yourself travelling more and further into the backcountry, consider taking a Wilderness First Responder or similar course. Even if you consider yourself an intermediate or advanced climber, try to climb with climbers more experienced than yourself, or consider occasionally taking a refresher course or hiring a guide. This is all part of the continuing and cumulative education that will complement your experiences on the mountain.

Be aware that it is this incremental and simultaneous accumulation of knowledge and experience that will allow you to best meet the challenges of the mountains and give you the best chance of returning safely to enjoy many more trips.

The utmost respect is paid here to our various search and rescue (SAR) personnel. All of these folks can be asked to risk their own lives to save someone else. It is up to each of us to accept a certain level of responsibility for our actions. While we may feel more comfortable with the SAR people out there, we should resist complacency and take all possible steps to not need their service.

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