In tandem with their desire to reopen and welcome visitors, mountain hut managers and mountaineering associations face uncertainty and fear as the season approaches, as they did in 2020. Only this time, they have a little more experience. They are aware that a focus on communicating with and educating mountain visitors is becoming more and more crucial for a peaceful coexistence in and with the mountain environment.
The five golden rules still apply
In addition to raising awareness of the issue of water consumption at high altitudes, with which we have already dealt extensively, the five rules that the associations and institutions coordinated by the UNESCO Dolomites Foundation had agreed on last summer remain highly relevant. These are generic rules, based on common sense, which focus on the role of mountain hut managers as points of reference for the hikers in their high-altitude experience, and as professionals to be respected in their delicate and irreplaceable task of welcoming visitors. Here they are:
- Reservations required for overnight stays and recommended for meals
- Use gel and wear a mask in communal areas
- Socially distance according to regulations
- Ask the mountain hut manager about the arrangements for overnight stays in the various structures
- Bring a towel and slippers with you
An alliance between managers and users
These are five simple but fundamental rules, which will be announced again this year and which are based on the assumption that everyone is responsible in equal measure for being aware of and respecting the mountains. Pending the individual regulations and provisions that will characterise recovery in the provinces and regions of the Dolomites, these rules must always be taken into consideration, along with all the rules concerning precautions, planning of excursions, equipment, awareness of one’s physical fitness and respect for the manager’s work, for an alliance that will allow everyone to experience the mountain environment without excesses, inconsiderate behaviour or poor understanding of the environment in which they find themselves.