The Slovenia Times

Prepare Properly



There were 154 accidents and 20 fatalities recorded last year, a third of which involved foreigners. The vast majority occurred on weekends during the summer months, which has led experts to call for people to take a bit more care when preparing for a trip. According to Janez Kosec of the Alpine Association of Slovenia, most accidents are caused by slips, falls and a lack of fitness and/or local knowledge. Equipment also plays its part, especially if weather conditions change. This can happen very quickly during summer and people are advised not to hike late on hot afternoons as the risk of thunderstorms increases dramatically. Wearing a helmet might seem to be unnecessary but falling rocks cause a number of injuries, some fatal, every year. Paradoxically, many accidents happen during the descent, as morale is high and people tend to overlook the possible dangers. Unfortunately, mountaineering often goes hand in hand with drinking too much alcohol. Heavy snowfall during the winter has made hiking in the mountains even trickier this year and you should avoid traversing the remaining pockets of snow. For the average hiker, most trails in the Alps can be negotiated without too much trouble and getting to the top of Slovenia's highest mountain, Triglav, shouldn't be too much of a test provided that you are properly prepared and reasonably healthy (i.e. fit). If you don't fall into this category then there are plenty of shorter, less demanding trips in the mountains of central Slovenia. Another option is to hire a guide. They can usually be found through shops specialising in outdoor or adventure sports or via the internet at Despite their financial and political problems, Slovenia's mountain rescue teams are very well organized and you can count on their assistance in case of emergency. There is a network of 17 bases around Slovenia and from Thursday to Sunday between July and August, a helicopter with an experienced mountain rescue team is on standby at Brnik airport. Its average response time is less than 1.5 hours, which more than matches European standards. Mobile phones are playing an increasingly important role in the mountains; however, no one should be under the impression that where they are heading will have GSM coverage... because it probably won't. Nothing beats proper preparation but if you or someone else gets into trouble, then call the emergency number 112 as soon as possible.


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