The mountain code

Exploring Norway is a remarkable adventure, showcasing wild mountains, valleys, and fjords. Prioritize your safety by acquainting yourself with the nine fundamental principles of the Norwegian mountain code before venturing into the outdoors. For an enhanced and safer experience, particularly during the winter season, we highly recommend hiring a local guide to minimize risks and maximize the enjoyment of your journey.

1. Plan well, and inform others!

  • Plan the trip according to the group’s abilities, and always have multiple alternatives.
  • Ensure you have information about the hiking area and the conditions you will encounter. Listen to experienced mountain enthusiasts.
  • Make sure you possess the knowledge and skills required for the specific journey.
  • Respect nature. With good planning, you leave no traces behind.
  • Make agreements regardless of the need for mobile coverage and specific times.

 

2. Adjust the trip according to ability and conditions.

  • Respect the weather!
  • Being on a trip with others increases safety and provides companionship. If you are alone, be extra cautious.
  • Do not embark on a long journey without experience; you must be able to take care of yourself and others in the group.
  • Show consideration for other hikers. Know the rights and duties associated with public access.
  • Ensure that the hiking group has a culture of open and direct communication.

 

3. Consider weather and avalanche warnings.

  • Always use weather and avalanche warnings and understand what they mean for your area of travel.
  • Follow the advice related to the specific warning, and choose simple terrain when conditions are challenging.
  • Weather forecasts are available at: yr.no, storm.no, and varsom.no.

 

4. Be prepared for storms and cold, even on short trips.

  • Dress according to weather and conditions. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains.
  • Bring both extra clothes and the equipment required for the terrain and the trip.
  • Extra food and drinks can help both you and others if you take longer than planned or have to wait for help.

 

5. Bring necessary equipment to help yourself and others.

  • On a winter trip, you need a wind sack, insulation, sleeping bag, and shovel to survive a night outside. A wind sack can save lives.
  • Bring something, such as a reflective vest or headlamp, that makes you easier to find in case of an accident.
  • Have a first aid kit. It allows you to help yourself and others.
  • Always use a transmitter/receiver and bring a probe and shovel if you are in avalanche-prone terrain.
  • Pack smart!
  • A mobile phone can be a useful tool, but remember that you cannot rely on it in all situations or areas.
  • In case of an accident, notify the police at 112, seek help, or try to notify in another way.

 

6. Make safe route choices.

  • Recognize avalanche-prone terrain and uncertain ice.
  • Conscious and good route choices are crucial to avoid avalanches.
  • Know that avalanches can release on slopes higher than five meters and steeper than 30 degrees.
  • Even if it’s flat where you walk, you can trigger avalanches on the mountainside above you.
  • An avalanche can travel three times as far as the height of the slope it originates from.
  • Avoid terrain traps, such as narrow stream valleys. Consider what happens if an avalanche occurs.
  • Be aware of the risk of cornice collapses when walking on a mountain ridge.
  • Pay attention to ice conditions when walking on regulated waters and in inlet and outlet areas.

 

7. Use the phone or GPS – or map/compass. Always know where you are.

  • Always know where you are.
    Use a map and compass; they always work.
    Keep an eye on the map even when following a marked route.
    The hiking experience becomes richer if you follow the map along the way.
    GPS and other electronic aids are useful, but remember to bring an extra power source.

 

8. Turn in time; there is no shame in turning back.

  • Reassess the plan continuously and choose plan B long before you become exhausted.
  • Have conditions changed? Should you turn back?
  • Is someone in the group having trouble completing the journey? Should the group turn back?
  • The journey is the goal! There will be other opportunities to hike. 

 

9. Conserve energy and seek shelter if necessary.

  • Adjust the speed according to the weakest in the group, and ensure everyone in the hiking group is together.
  • Remember to eat and drink frequently. When exerting yourself, your body needs more fluid than you feel the need for.
  • Do not wait to seek shelter until you are exhausted. Wind and the terrain will maske you tierd, fast. 
  • Strong wind makes you more tired. Use the wind sack or bury yourself in the snow in time.

Explore Norway! But stay safe