Pippi Longstocking already knew that 1x1 equals 1 😉, but what the 1x1 of proper hiking is, our outdoor guides have drilled into us.
Everyone knows the hiking enemy, wet roots ...
The story with loose and firm stones ...
The tiptoeing on steep hillsides ...
The german story of Hans looking up in the air, we prefer to look down ...
You have to learn to hike safely just like you learned to walk, so here are some tips from our mountain experts:
Whether ascending or descending, always try to step on with the whole sole. We won't mention non-slip soles with a good tread here, that is an absolute prerequisite. With a full sole you have the best friction and the most secure grip, regardless of whether you are walking on smooth surfaces or in gravel or scree fields.
Always take small steps, even if you think you are faster with big steps, you are not.
By the way: we leave speed and hectic at home in the mountains anyway.
Remember: big steps cost more energy.
Let's go back to the entire sole position: if it is too steep, it is obviously no longer possible to step with the entire sole. Now we have to use the ball of the foot.
But try to minimise the height of your stride, then you will save energy again. Walking poles are of course a great advantage here, they make it easier for you to climb steep terrain and at the same time give you balance.
And then the descent! Many people think it's no problem, it goes down by itself, but that's not the case!
You're tired, your concentration wanes at the same time, coordination and reaction speed were yesterday's words. It's no wonder that most accidents happen on the way down, and don't forget your good knee joints, they take a lot of punishment on the way down, so walking sticks are highly recommended to protect your joints.
When going downhill, we bend our body slightly forwards, yes, you read that right, slightly forwards, we roll our foot over the heel, sole and ball of the foot. Our head usually makes us put our body in the supine position on steep descents, but the supine position is always counterproductive.
It must be clear that we reduce our speed when descending, we should also take breaks when descending, even if we feel it is less draining when descending, this clearly increases safety and speed of reaction.
When crossing steep mountain hills, we usually tend to walk tilted towards the mountain. The hillside gives you a certain feeling of safety, that's normal, but that's where the mistake lies.
By leaning towards the inside, the weight on the soles of the feet disappears, you no longer have the necessary grip, you start to destabilize and bang, you've slipped away (skiers know what we're talking about ...).
For this reason: on narrow slopes there are usually safety ropes, the possibility to hold on there gives you mental head safety, in this case you don't even think of changing your body posture, and so it won't get bumpy for you no matter which of the most beautiful Dolomite mountains you choose to conquer.
And never forget: "The way is the goal!