International Mountain Day - December 11, 2020
Appeal by the EUMA (European-Mountaineers)
We love the mountains - AND we respect the mountains, especially in times of Covid 19 and climate change!
Winter mountaineering and ski touring are particularly popular right now because the risk of infection in the outdoors is low. However, the dangers in the mountains are not impressed by more or less danger of infection. They remain as they have always been! Not being infected does not mean that we are immune to accidents, injuries from falls or avalanches. On the contrary: an increasing number of inexperienced ski-mountaineers will increase this risk.
So let's be extra careful not to expose the people who will hopefully rescue us to additional dangers. Mountain rescuers have to face alpine risks because of the people who have been involved in an accident. In addition, they now have to wear protective masks during their strenuous work and are exposed to an increased risk of infection due to the physical proximity during the rescue operation. After that, let’s hope the hospital will not be overrun...
We, the European Mountaineering Federation, are not the only ones who fear that popular mountain areas will be overrun, especially in the pandemic season. We therefore recommend switching to “less cool” destinations.