If you roam the mountains for days, high up where Alpine goats and marmots are your only companion, with only the occasional cloud crossing your path, it might happen that you simply forget the other world, far down. Up here, it is just more important where the next trail marking is and where you’ll find the next hut. The weather here determines more than anything else—how your day goes, where you take breaks and how difficult or easy it is for you to keep putting one foot in front of the other—with high Alpine trails being known as the supreme discipline of multi-day hikes. Ideally, they’ll demand just enough from you as to prevent any boredom setting in, though you can always guarantee one thing: the landscape will take your breath away. What are you waiting for?
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Just like a hearty breakfast, checking the weather forecast is an important part of your daily mountain morning routine. Often you will experience extreme heat, snow and thunder in the same day. When packing, check the weather and take equipment for every possible condition. During your trip, hut keepers are the most reliable source of information, as well as the alpine club website. When in doubt, asking people you meet on the trail can be helpful, too.
Rough terrain, narrow and steep paths, falling rocks – all are risks when traversing the Alps. Thorough preparation, suitable equipment and an honest evaluation of one’s skills are key to staying safe. If you don’t have any experience in alpine environments, it's best to bring someone who does.
Whether you are on a popular trail or off the beaten path, make sure to show respect toward other people and the environment. Beware of other people around – below steep slopes there can always be other trails, so don't kick down any rocks. Always leave a place as you found it and show responsibility towards your companions, people you meet and the environment.
Research and bring with you the phone number of the local mountain rescue. Make sure you aways have some battery left on your mobile device and be cognisant of where you are at all times so you can accurately communicate your location in case of an emergency.