Header Banner
quote
Print
Below you will find a list of rules that I built over 5 years of climbing. It’s not a complete set but it may contribute to safer enjoyment of your adventures. It may seem hypocritical to disregard the earlier mentioned "Interdit" rules and to come up with a list of my own. I'm not encouraging you to follow them all; they are more like a recipe for a successfully baked delicious Christmas cake. We all follow certain codes that set our minds in a specific psychological state helping us to survive in the mountains. Please let me know yours.

Preparations
Find out as much as you can about the route and weather; ask those who have recently ascended the route.
Eat copious amounts of carbohydrates the day before a big climb.
Inform friends where you are going, and your planned return time.
Get your pack ready a day in advance, lay all items flat on a bed to dry and see if you have all that’s needed.
Always take: head torch, chocolate and/or dried fruits (no peaches, they make you fart), map, mobile, compass and lots of water.
Start early.
Once every so often after a long period of climbing check the quality of your gear.

Readiness
Climb with extra strength, time, water and food.
Have a predetermined turn-around time.
Always observe and plan escape routes and know your descent route well.
Be responsible, and take first-aid and rescuing courses.
Pre-plan crisis management, imagine the worst case scenario and train regularly.
Take compass and altitude measurements when the weather starts getting bad.

The mind
Always climb for good reasons.
Do not get irritated by small hiccups, keep calm.
Always be ready to change your itinerary or to give up your goals.
Control the time.
Pay respect to the mountains.

Focus
Always give 100% of yourself and pay 100% attention to what you are doing, even to relaxing when it’s time to relax.
Safety is always no.1; curiosity, vigilance, concern, awareness and inquisitiveness contribute to safety and survival.
Keep moving at a fast, stable pace and overtake slow parties to ensure you spend less time exposed to danger.
The only stops are for navigational purposes; there is no such a thing as a short pause.

Your team
Know and remember the weakest points of your team and of each of its members.
Be critical towards your own strengths and weaknesses.
Never allow competition to build among the members of your team and with other teams on the wall.
Whenever someone leaves the team make sure they are not taking any precious gear with them.

Tactics
If you can get down, do it rather than face a cold bivvy.
Sleep low, carry heavy stock high, acclimatizing while stocking camps before making for the summit.
When abseiling – you get no second chances, be paranoid, check everything twice.
If you have doubts about something act as if you were sure it was wrong.
Always use a figure of 8 knot and a safety prussic when abseiling on overhanging and exposed sections.
Never, ever trust “in situ gear”, especially pegs at the end of winter, and slings; back them up and hammer them in.
Train your navigation skills - find 10 to 15 landmark points on your way to a target, remember and repeat them in your mind and tick them off when passing by.
As you are passing by landmarks, look for new ones.
Go back if for some reason something is not as you thought it would be.
Work on learning good habits, get rid of bad habits; starting to write a climbing log book is a good beginning.

When it comes to training there is always one more thing you can do.
Always follow golden rules when tired.
Read all your golden rules each time you come back to the mountains after a long break.