Mountain Code no. 1: Plan your trip and leave word of your route. (Photo: Sindre Thoresen Lønnes/ Norwegian Trekking Assiciation)
Are you planning to wander in the Norwegian mountains this Easter, you should prepare well. Large areas are practically deserted, and with the weather changing drastically, it may be wise to have studied these simple mountain codes beforehand.
Since the early 1920s, the Norwegian Red Cross and the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) have put safety in the mountains on the agenda. Until the beginning of the 1900s, few people went hiking in the winter mountain for their own amusement. However, during the first years of the last century, the Norwegian population discovered the pleasures of cross-country skiing and hiking in the wilderness.
The mountain areas that previously had been reserved for adventurers and locals became recreation parks for a growing number of skiers. Not everyone were well prepared, and many lacked basic knowledge about everything from clothing to how to use a map and compass.
After the stormy Easter of 1950, where several people died, Red Cross and DNT designed informative flyers to prevent accidents. In 1952, Leif Hanoa and Frank Schrøder created the first Norwegian Mountain Codes.
Today, both the Red Cross and DNT still have a strong focus on how to travel safe in the mountains. It is about basic training on choosing the safest route, avalanche training, the use of map and compass, clothing, and having proper equipment.
For the first time in 60 years, the mountain codes was revised in 2016. The reason is that the Norwegian hiking culture is changing and it is important that the codes are most adequate for today’s challenges in mountain hiking.
The new Norwegian Mountain Codes:
- Plan your trip and leave word of your route
- Adjust your trip according to ability and conditions
- Pay attention to weather and avalanche warnings
- Be equipped for bad weather and frost, even on short trips
- Bring the necessary equipment to be able to help yourself and others
- Take safe paths. Recognize avalanche terrain and unsafe ice
- Use a map and compass. Always know where you are
- Turn back in time, sensible retreat is no disgrace
- Conserve energy and build a snow shelter if necessary.
Have a safe journey!
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
The Mountain Codes translated by: ThorNews