Alpine Club Vienna: Hiking in Austria

Alpine Activities in Times of Corona

This page is my attempt of a translation into English of the recommendations of the alpine associations of Austria (the original German version is here). This will be considered to be the basic rules (not just recommendations!) for how activities in the Alpine Club Vienna will be run - until further notice.

The page will be updated if and when there are changes in the rules from the Austrian authorities, or in the original website in German.

Roger Starkie, Group Leader ACV, 3. May 2020.

(Updated on 29.5.2020 based on update of the original page from 27.5.2020)

Basic Rules

1. Reduction of Risk

Restrict alpine activities to those below your personal physical limits. Consider the extra corona-related risks and difficulties of alpine rescue operations. Only go into the mountains when you are healthy!

2. Keep your distance – at least 1m

In exceptional circumstances where it is not possible to keep 1 metre of distance, use a face mask. Certain alpine activities (e.g. mountain biking) may require larger distances (see below).

3. Alpine activities only in small groups

Remember, the larger the group, the more difficult it is to keep one’s distance. Avoid popular spots and tours.

4. Avoiding usual rituals

e.g. shaking hands, hugs, kisses on the summit, offering drinks from your bottles/flasks.

5. Taking face masks and hand sanitiser

Along with your general first aid kits/emergency equipment, a face mask and hand sanitiser should be considered part of the standard equipment in your rucksack in the upcoming weeks and months.

6. Face masks when travelling together in a car

Additionally only two persons including the driver may be transported per row of seats. Where possible, public transport should be used.

7. As always, in an emergency

as first aider proceed using the usual first aid guidelines, and additionally use a face mask.

8. Observe the rules in the huts

When staying overnight in mountain huts, in addition to the face mask, all guests must also bring a summer sleeping bag and pillow case with them. Beds/places in dormitories must be reserved in advance!

Recommendations for specific activities

A) Trekking/Alpine Hiking/Skitouring/Snowshoe hiking

See basic rules above

B) Sport climbing and outdoor bouldering

  1. See basic rules above
  2. Regular disinfection of the hands
  3. Don’t put the rope in your mouth whilst clipping in
  4. Use your own equipment (quickdraws, belay device, rope)
  5. Partner check: this can be done from a distance of less than 1 metre, as this is necessary for safety reasons
  6. Spotting with face mask and subsequent disinfection of the hands

C) Via Ferratas (Klettersteig)

  1. See basic rules above
  2. Partner check: this can be done from a distance of less than 1 metre, as this is necessary for safety reasons
  3. Avoid starting a via ferrata on which there are already a lot of climbers, where queues are likely
  4. Choose your speed, such that you do not catch up with other people
  5. Only undertake the via ferrata in the intended direction of the route, never in the opposite direction
  6. Use via ferrata gloves

D) Multi-pitch climbing/Alpine Climbing/Mountaineering

  1. See basic rules above
  2. Maximum of one rope team on a belay station
  3. Partner check: this can be done from a distance of less than 1 metre, as this is necessary for safety reasons
  4. Disinfection of the hands before and after a climbing tour

E) Mountainbiking/Bike Touring

  1. See basic rules above
  2. Higher speeds require longer distances when riding behind one another: 2m uphill, 20m downhill and on the flat
  3. When overtaking, do so quickly and with a sideways distance of at least 2m

Note about staying in mountain huts

From the 29th May, it is once again possible to stay overnight in huts. There are though limitations (see original german information here):

  1. Only visit huts when you are healthy
  2. Bring your own facemask with you
  3. Reserve your bed or place in the dormitory in advance. You will NOT be allocated a place to sleep without a reservation.
  4. A stay in the hut is only possible with your own sleeping bag and a pillow case (a light down or summer sleeping bag). A sheet sleeping bag (“Hüttenschlafsack”) normally used in huts will normally not be warm enough, as blankets will NOT be provided by the hut.
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Hiking in Austria, Climbing in Austria, Snowshoeing in Austria, Ski touring in Austria