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Do's and Don'ts in Mountains


Do’s and Don’ts in Mountains, Snow-Bound

Areas and Glaciated Terrain During Acclimatisation




While operating in mountains, snow-bound areas and glaciated terrain, it is very important to acclimatise properly. Acclimatisation is the process of adjusting one’s body to the rarefied atmosphere and extreme cold climate of High Altitude Area.




(a)       During acclimatisation work on higher altitude and sleep at lower.

(b)       Acclimatisation is a must for mountaineers operating above 9000 ft.

(c)        Mountain climbers should progressively increase their weight carrying capacity.

(d)       Mountain climbers should be made to adjust to cold winds, harsh climate and move during              night.

(e)       Mountain climbers should practice movement in bad weather.

(f)        Lasix tablets should always be carried and consumed on advice by the Medical             Officer.

(g)       First aid kit should always be carried and Nursing Assistant should always                    accompany climbers undergoing acclimatisation walk.

(h)       Electrol/Glucose and salt should be carried.

(j)         Mountain climbers should be re-acclimatised after rejoining the team from leave.

(k)        Use goggles in snow bound areas.

(l)         Use sunscreen lotions and lip salve.




(a)       No medical discomfort should be hidden, however small it may seem.

(b)       Do not run or walk fast while climbing.

(c)        Above 12000 ft, do not climb more than about 2000 ft.

(d)       Do not get tired. Conserve your energy.

(e)       Do not walk empty stomach.

(f)        Always remember ‘Do not be a GAMA’ in the land of ‘LAMA’.




To maintain one’s mountaineering efficiency and operate with full zeal and élan, one must religiously follow the do’s and don’ts during acclimatization.



Do's and Don'ts in Mountains, Snow-Bound

Areas and Glaciated Terrain While Camping




There are many occasions while operating in mountainous terrain when climbers have to camp out for days. During these times, it is very important for them to have complete knowledge of camping in mountains. This chapter gives you certain points that you should follow while camping in mountains, snow bound terrain and glacier.




            (a)       Select a site close to water and tree cover.

            (b)       Living area should be away from avalanche prone slope.

(c)       Camping site should be large enough to accommodate helipad, radio operator   detachment, group antenna etc.

(d)       Campsite should have good exposure to sunlight and be away from direct wind.

(e)       On glaciers camp should be established at a place where there are no chances             of crevasses opening.

(f)        Natural shelter should be used extensively.

(g)       Shelter should be open from both ends to enable ventilation.

(h)       Shelter should be water proof and wind proof.

(j)         Cook house should be sited in the folds of the ground so that smoke/light can              be concealed.

(k)        Camp should be sited in good order to guard against any eventuality.

(l)         Sentries should be placed all around the camp.

(m)      Camp should be cleaned daily.

(n)        A snow/ice wall should be constructed all around the camp, if possible.

(o)        Site latrines on the leeward side, away from cookhouse and living area.

(p)        Leave camp clean before moving out.




(a)       Do not camp on low ground.

(b)       Do not camp at a place visible to avalanche prone slopes.

(c)        Do not camp too close to an ice fall or river/stream.

(d)       Cook house should not be located close to crevasse area as the heat produced             may open crevasses.

(e)       Opening of the cook house should not face wind direction.

(f)        There should be no crevasse/stream in between the camp site.

(g)       Do not light a fire inside a snow shelter.

(g)       Waste material should not be disposed of close to camp site.

(j)         Do not litter the area and leave tell-a-tale marks.

(k)        Do not cut trees, vegetation or cause damage to the environment.




While operating in mountains, snow bound terrain and glaciers, it is important for climbers to follow the points as mentioned here in. By doing so, the mountain work efficiency of climbers is maintained even under the tough conditions of survival.



Do's and Don'ts in Mountains, Snow-Bound

Areas and Glaciated Terrain : Physical Fitness




It is the most important aspect for a climber to maintain his physical fitness under various environment and work conditions. Mountains are peculiar for their extreme cold climate, rarefied atmosphere, fast winds and extremely rugged terrain. To operate in such areas with full potential, a climber has to remain physically fit and mentally robust. This chapter gives you certain points to be followed to keep physically fit.




            (a)       Warm fluids should be consumed regularly.

(b)       Avoid excessive sweating.

(c)       Breathe through your nose and talk less while climbing.

(d)       Use sunglasses to avoid damage to eyes from the UV radiation of the sun.

(e)       Wash eyes regularly with clean water.

(f)        Keep yourself warm.

(g)       Wear loose fitting clothes so that clean air can circulate in your body.

(h)       Keep clothes dry from outside and inside.

(j)         Keep your head on height while sleeping – use pillows.

(k)       Exercise your face muscles by pulling them in all directions to avoid cold             injuries.

(l)         While entering a shelter, brush your shoes and clothes of snow sticking to them.

(m)      Wear hand gloves and keep them dry.

(n)       Exercise all parts of the body and keep them clean and dry.

(o)       Keep your head covered as maximum heat is lost by the body through the head             (40%).




            (a)       Do not smoke or consume liquor.

(b)       Do not lie on the floor or on warm surface.

(c)       Do not wear tight fitting clothes as they do not allow proper blood circulation.

(d)       Avoid wearing wet clothes.

(e)       Do not touch metal articles with naked skin.

(f)        Do not use dirty or torn socks.

(g)       Do not expose your body to cold weather, wind, wet clothes or humidity.

(h)       Do not rub your skin vigorously while taking a bath.

(j)        Do not overlook injuries, however small.

(k)       Do not sleep wearing wet clothes, socks or wet shoes.




Physical fitness is an asset for all living beings and is a requisite for personnel in the mountaineering team. Due to the expreme terrain and weather conditions of mountains and diseases/injuries associated with them, it is only pertinent that personnel operating in such areas keep themselves in top physical shape and avoid the don’ts.



Do's and Don'ts in Mountains, Snow-Bound

Areas and Glaciated Terrain When Caught in a Storm




There may be many occasions while moving from one camp to another, when climbers may be caught in a storm, in a group or alone. It is very important to have a cool head at that time and not fret under adverse conditions. So you should have the knowledge of things to be done to make yourself powerful. This chapter empowers you with the knowledge of things to be done in such an eventuality.


Do’s – When in a Group.


            (a)       Distribute responsibilities.

(b)       Plan and look for a way out.

(c)       Make a shelter, if possible.

(d)       Send out an SOS signal.

(e)       Locate own position on ground and map.

(f)        Mark your trail.

(g)       Stay in a group.

(h)       Use rations and fuel judiciously.


Don’ts – When in a Group.


(a)       Do not panic.

(b)       Everyone should not sleep at the same time.

(c)       Do not lose height.


Do’s – When Alone.


(a)       Control your panic.  

(b)       Stay where you are.

(c)        Plan your next action deliberately.

(d)       If way to the starting point is known, then turn back.

(e)       Keep yourself warm.

(f)        Use the rations and fuel judiciously.

(g)       Make a shelter, if possible.


Don’ts – When Alone.


            (a)       Do not fear because of loneliness.

(b)       Do not lose height.




While operating in mountainous and snow bound terrain it is very important for the climbers to protect themselves when caught in bad weather. If all individuals keep in mind the points mentioned in this chapter then they can maintain their mountain work potential and complete the allotted tasks efficiently and effectively.



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