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What to do if you get injured up a mountain

Mountain hiking and climbing carries risks, and injuries by slips, trips and falls are common. Knowing what to do if you are injured up a mountain is vital and could potentially save yours or another climber in the groups life.

Injured up a mountain

The first thing to remember if you are injured up a mountain is to stay calm, take a little time to assess your situation, make sure the rest of your group is safe  and determine your next course of action. Possible options are:

  • Descending to safety – here, it is important to consider the terrain, how far it is to safety and whether you need to be carried. It is also necessary to ensure your injuries are not likely to be made worse by travelling (like a spinal injury following a fall from height, for example).
  • Finding shelter – unless you are sure that there is shelter nearby, this could be a waste of valuable energy and time.
  • Staying put – if staying where you are, make sure you have the necessary equipment to prevent hypothermia.
  • Seeking help – remember that even after alerting rescue teams, it may take several hours for help to arrive

Help may be summoned by mobile phone or, if there is no network coverage, on foot. Either way, you will need to provide rescuers with the following information:

  • Your location (mountain area and terrain description, map sheet number and grid reference)
  • Number of people in your group, their names and condition
  • Injuries and casualties’ names

If calling for help on a mobile, you will also need to provide your number and numbers of other phones carried by the group. You will also need to tell rescuers:

  • What happened
  • The time of your mountain accident
  • Weather conditions (wind speed, visibility)
  • Equipment you have (group shelter, warm clothing, etc.)
  • Any distinguishing colours, markers or features at your location

Once help has been summoned, make it easier for rescuers to find you by repeating emergency signals (six torch flashes or six blasts on a whistle) every 60 seconds.

Accident Advice Helpline

Depending on who or what caused your accident on a mountain, you may qualify for compensation. We, Accident Advice Helpline, can assist you in confirming your claim eligibility and help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Learn more about how and when to claim by calling our helpline on 0800 689 5659 now. Our 24/7 helpline is confidential and obligation-free.