30 October 2010

Route Planning (Mountain Skills)


Route Planning is something we cover in our Mountain Skills Courses and coming into this time of year, with worsening weather and shorter daylight hours, it becomes pretty important. A lot of incidents in the mountains happen due to several small, minor mistakes accumulating to become a major problem; such as forgetting your torch, combined with being caught in darkness, combined with not having a hot drink and not having enough spare food.

BEFOREHAND
1. Plan Your Route

2. Calculate Distance & Duration
(5km per hour, plus 1 extra min per uphill contour)

3. Add Extra Time For Stops/Delays

4. Check Weather Forecast (www.met.ie/www.windguru.com)

5. Take The Following Considerations:
Your Ability
Your Fitness
Wind/Rain/Hail
Stream/River Crossings (avoid where possible)
Terrain
Height Gain

6. Plan A Nearby Bad Weather Option

7. Plan An Escape Route
An escape route is important, so if you need to make a quick or emergency descent off the mountain, you already have a route in mind.

8. Leave A Route Card Behind (with your estimated time of return)

9. Don't Be Afraid To Change Your Route Over The Day
(there's often a point before an incident, when if you re-assessed your route, you may be able to avoid having difficulties)

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