Training Meeting on Improving safety in the mountains in non-winter month
5-12. October 2019.
Basko Polje, Velebit mountains, Croatia

The aim of the meeting was to share experiences, knowledge and practices through a number of specialized topics on how to increase general mountain safety for ski alpinism and related activities, discuss methods to increase awareness and improve training specifically for people involved in outdoor mountain sports. The main format of the meeting were lectures and joint training held by certified instructors and invited professionals (e.g. rescue personnel) and a number of workshops, where the participants had the opportunity to discuss and share their own methods and experiences. The meeting was led by one of the participants of the Host organisation, a certified instructor in safety and rescue, ensuring the truly high quality and systematic approach of the Meeting.

5km from the meeting venue the Croatian climbing clubs held their annual event as a remembrance to their lost friends (called Glavno da se Klajba). The meeting participants had the option to join some of the activities of the Klajba event in order to make even more publicity for the project.

One participants review of the training sessions 

(by Adam Farkas, mountaineering club leader, rope technician, ski alpinist and climber):

“I have attended on the project as part of the Hungarian team. My personal aim was to see how other bodies are carrying out rescue trainings and see what I can build into my own regimes. The first aid training was split between a wider, theoretical cover and a more in-practice session, focusing on climbing related accidents. Starting from the basics, the lecturer has covered the legal background, where to go for help and showed how much is being carried by a professional. Personal questions were answered as well, explaining what to do and what not. This I found quite interesting, as many cases are much more complicated as they seemed. Moving a person with a possible fractured vertebrae is well known as NOT to do, however other injuries could overwrite that. The aim is to maximize the chance for survival, quality of life within reasons. The practical demonstration showed how to deal with more common injuries on the head, and limbs. The main takeaway for me was to be able to use climbing gear and minimal First aid kit to create efficient solutions for common injuries. Single rope techniques (SRT) are rarely discussed in an industrial environment, where it is safe and an operator has access to multiple devices. In the world of rock climbing, this is rarely realistic. Weight matters in every level, and the scenarios are slightly different. it was great to see how can I utilise my rope access knowledge for rescue in this environment. The lecture started with a theoretical overview of the cases that could happen and a brief reminder to fall factors and anchoring. After this the demonstration progressed to trees. The whole rescue process has been done “on the ground”. This helped to practice it in a safe place, where mistakes are not costly. Last part was the actual training. Groups of 2-3 people were formed and we practiced an emergency situation in live. This was done under the supervision of the trainer and other staff. The event closed with a nice barbecue under the rocks. I can not even wish for a better place between the sea and the mountains for this! Both sessions were teaching us to use what we have. An average climber’s equipment is sufficient to save lives, but should not be taken as an invitation to take more than acceptable risks during outdoor activities.”