A few weeks ago, and rather randomly, I opted to watch 127 Hours. Something anyone aiming to go out and hike in Mother Nature should watch really. One of the key lessons gained from this autobiographical film is to never, ever go off on a hike alone without letting at least a couple of people know where you are going, and take a fully charged phone! Mind you it was not battery charge that impeded the main character to call for help, but lack of reception..
Anyway, I was talking about this with John Webster, our resident Australian mountain guide who has been here for near on 30 years now and asked him for his top tips.
One of the beauties of this area is the sheer mountains and the stunning glaziers are all quite readily accessible, they also happen to be dotted with beautiful little Romanisch villages so help is never too far away. Having said that accidents, loss of direction and falls can easily turn a wonderful hike into a nightmare, so preparation is key.
Just as the film reminds us, John suggests telling at least one friend where you are going and when you expect to be back. Ensuring your mobile is charged goes without saying and stick to the area you planned hiking to – don’t go changing your mind without letting anyone know.
Weather plays a really important role up here and changes rapidly so keep yourself informed and adjust your plans accordingly. Temperatures can plummet, so always be prepared. Dress in layers, and always have at least one change of top with you.
Be aware, too, of the fact that the Engadine is higher than most hiking areas and as a consequence you need to really keep a close check on maintaining your hydration levels. Finally – don’t attempt anything too arduous alone, taking someone along is most definitely good mountain safety, and if nothing else it saves you having to take terrible ‘selfies’!