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Safety in the mountains

The risks of mountaineering

Mountaineering is a fantastic sport that, with its many variants and different aspects, has something to offer everyone. Mountaineering, however, not only means carefree holiday pleasure, but also effort, danger and disappointment if, for example, the top is not achieved. In this chapter we want to point out the less sunny sides of mountaineering and our travels.

There are risks associated with all forms of mountaineering, which can lead to injuries, illness, injury or, in the worst case, death. Mountaineering risks can be greatly reduced by safety measures, but can never be completely excluded. In addition, the range of assistance options in mountain terrain is often limited, despite all modern technology.

As a participant in our Zillertal trips you must be aware of these risks and accept them. You are also expected to be responsible for your own behavior and commitment to safety. Below we provide information about what you can expect from our trips and vice versa.

The journeys

The program offered by Zillertal-reizen.nl is based on our many years of experience and is constantly being revised and improved, based on new insights and suggestions from management and participants. The trips are carefully compiled and evaluated annually with our partners from the Zillertal.

You can count on the highest possible safety level on all our journeys, but we cannot guarantee one hundred percent safety.

Certain risks are inextricably linked to our journeys and cannot be eliminated without affecting the nature of what is offered. After all, our activities take place in nature and with a group of people. These two aspects cause unpredictable factors and the mutual interaction is even less predictable. This can lead to hazards and risks that fall outside our control range.

As a participant you must be aware of this and accept this. For its part, Zillertal-reizen.nl endeavors to guide you to your goal as safely and responsibly as possible and to ensure you have a successful holiday.

Counselors

Our trips are accompanied by (inter) nationally recognized mountain hiking guides, activity guides (Austria and the surrounding area) and internationally recognized mountain guides (UIAGM) or qualified Dutch instructors and tour guides. They have extensive experience and have undergone extensive training to achieve their qualification.

Guides, instructors and tour guides inform you about the dangers and requirements of a tour and are competent to adjust the planned program if necessary in adverse (weather) conditions. In the unlikely event of an accident happening en route, our management is trained in first aid and rescue techniques.

Risk does not have to spoil mountaineering fun. Learning to deal with it is one of the many challenges that sport offers. You learn to recognize the dangers and risks yourself, to consciously weigh to what extent you want to take risks, how you should act and what preventive measures you can take to limit the (consequences of) risks. You learn to make decisions and evaluate them, for when you go on your own afterwards but also to be able to contribute to your own safety and that of the group during the trip.

Joint task

We see safety during our journeys as a joint task of management and participants; everyone must contribute to this. You are therefore partly responsible for your own safety and that of others with whom you are traveling. The fact that you are on the road with a mountain guide, instructor or tour leader does not relieve you of the responsibility to prepare properly, to deal with risks consciously and to behave appropriately during the trip.

The boundary between the responsibility of the management and your own responsibility cannot be clearly defined and depends on several factors. As you have more experience, more and more you will be responsible for it and a guide or instructor will also be able to give it to you. You make your personal contribution to safety both before and during the activity.

Experience and condition

You make an important safety contribution by choosing a course or tour that is a challenge for you personally but is not too demanding. Carefully read through the entry requirement stated on the journey. This is not for nothing! Find out for yourself whether you really have sufficient mountaineering experience and condition to be able to participate in a certain trip. Be honest in this; you are responsible for the choice made and any overestimation. Lack of experience or condition not only results in an unpleasant situation for yourself, but can even endanger yourself and the entire group. If during the activity it appears that you do not meet the requirements, the management is entitled to partially or completely exclude you from participation. In this case you cannot claim a refund of the travel sum.

Health and acclimatization

Even if you are not in optimal health, you risk problems when you go into the mountains. If you have a condition or injury that could potentially influence mountaineering, or if you use medication that influences your reaction speed, report this at registration.

Other preparation

As a participant you must insure yourself for various risks. The mountaineering insurance of the NKBV offers a package of coverings, specifically tailored to mountaineering: If you have not taken out the NKBV mountaineering insurance, you are convinced that you can at least meet your obligations towards third parties, such as co-participants and mountain savers, through liability insurance and coverage of search and rescue costs. The latter costs are usually not covered by your health insurance policy!

Provide good material. Poorly worn-in shoes, for example, can completely spoil the mountaineering holiday. We state exactly what you need with every trip.

In the absence of the right material, our management can exclude you from participation.

During the activity

You are responsible for your own behavior during the trip. Calmness, attention and common sense are good qualities for a mountain athlete. Exaggerated urge for performance, on the other hand, can make you blind to imminent dangers and deaf to warnings. But there is nothing wrong with a portion of perseverance.

Follow directions from the management, especially in critical situations. Discussions can take place when the group is safely back in the cabin. Indicate clearly if you do not feel optimally, both physically (altitude sickness, fatigue) and mentally (for example, fear of heights). Not discussing, or even hiding, these problems can mean serious risks for yourself and the entire group. Conversely, consultation with management may mean that you will be taken into account extra.

In few other sports you are so dependent on each other and group members must be able to fully trust each other. Take responsibility for others: If you see that something goes wrong with a co-participant, talk to them about this or inform the management. Respect your own and other people's limits, be tolerant and help each other, especially in the event of difficulties.

Circumstances and flexibility

The (weather) conditions during the season, and certainly on the day of the trip itself, are impossible to predict long in advance and certainly not at the time this program is put together. The management will gather information about circumstances and weather forecasts on the spot and then assess the feasibility of the program for the group. If the circumstances do not allow for a planned trip or climb, the management will offer an alternative that is as attractive as possible. This requires a flexible attitude and acceptance.

Mountaineering also has a positive attitude to weather and nature: Enjoy days with good weather, but also see the positive side of a trip with wind and rain, even if it consists of the prospect of returning to a warm cabin. If less good (weather) conditions quickly spoil your pleasure, you might be better off looking for another hobby.

The program of winter trips, such as ski touring, snowshoeing and ice climbing, is largely determined by the avalanche hazard, snow and ice conditions as well as weather conditions.

Pleasure

It is not intended that this text will give you the enthusiasm to participate in one of our journeys. We think it is important that we inform you clearly about what the Zillertal-reizen.nl can mean for you in terms of safety and holiday pleasure, where our limits are and what we expect from you as a participant. That can only improve safety.

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