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Introduction to mountain sports
Like all other sports, mountain sports require initiation and training by professionals in the discipline. It is also important to be aware of the different dangers of mountain sports and the necessary safety equipment.
Accidents in mountain sports
Mountain sports are not the simplest or safest of activities. Indeed, the mountain hides several types of dangers and it is very important to be aware and well informed of the different risks that one takes when engaging in a mountain sport. For this reason, it is necessary to raise awareness about safety and risk-taking and its consequences.
Every year many people fall victim to snow avalanches. When a snowpack breaks up, a large mass of snow starts to move and can reach high speeds. The people who are most exposed to the risks of avalanches are those who venture off-piste.
For people who are passionate about climbing in the mountains there are several risks to consider, starting with falls, slips and physical strain. But the most important danger, after avalanches, comes from snowstorms and can be fatal.
Ski touring is one of the most popular mountain leisure activities. In a nutshell, ski touring involves hiking on snow-covered terrain. It allows you to cover the steepest terrain. This discipline only takes place off-piste and during the winter.
To be able to ski touring, you need to be a good skier, have a certain stamina and physical condition to be able to ski for long distances, and to be properly equipped and accompanied by a specialised guide.
Snowshoeing, as the name suggests, is done with snowshoes that are attached to the feet so that you can walk in the snow without sinking and without difficulty. Poles are also needed to help you move forward with the help of your arms and to help guide your body in case of imbalance.
Speed riding is an extreme mountain sport, practised with skis and a paraglider, alternating gliding on the snow and flying through the air. The skier uses the force of the wind in the glider to increase his speed and fly away while performing artistic figures.
There are two types of cross-country skiing: “classic” cross-country skiing, which is practised on rails in alternating steps, with ski soles covered with scales to grip the snow, and “skating” cross-country skiing, which does not require rails and consists of moving forward in skating steps.
This sport consists of sliding on a sled pulled by sled dogs, that are capable of pulling heavy loads and are very tough. The speed of the sled depends on the number of dogs harnessed and the orders given by the person guiding them.
Precautions to take before tackling the mountains
Before venturing into the mountains, it is necessary to find out about the weather conditions and the state of the snow. It is also advisable to be accompanied by a guide, especially if you want to go off-piste, as any unforeseen event must be taken into account. Besides, all assistance is necessary in the mountains. Also remember to drink water to avoid dehydration.
Choosing your mountain clothing
Before embarking on a mountain sport, apart from safety equipment and gear, you should have adequate clothing against cold, sun and snowfall. The clothing depends on the type of sport, e.g., for skiing you need a three-layer ski suit. The clothing should keep the body at a good temperature and protect the athlete from the cold and the sun's rays. In addition to the suit, special goggles, a hat, gloves and special footwear are also required. Mountain sports clothing is constantly being improved and modified to provide optimum comfort for each discipline. Some garments are soft and elastic to facilitate movement, while others are rigid and offer reinforcement and support to protect the body against shocks and falls.
Holidays and travel in the mountains
Why go on holiday in the mountains? The fresh air, the landscapes and the physical activity will help you to evacuate all the accumulated stress. The mountains win you over! Whether in summer or winter, take pleasure in savouring breathtaking landscapes, pristine and immense places, the authenticity of nature and invigorating climates. Looking for an exceptional trip? Destination: the mountains!