Every mountain buff can say that autumn is the most beautiful time to visit the mountains. In autumn, the mountains attract us due to their peacefulness and autumnal colours of the nature that create a completely different image. If you are invited in summer by the warm weather and colourful alpine flowers, the shades of forests and the retreat to the peaceful environment of less visited trails are the things that invite us in autumn.
Stable weather provides for a pleasant hike, since there are fewer storms and dangers. The clearer atmosphere that offers more beautiful views of the mountain peaks is absolutely stunning. Janez Rozman, the president of the Bohinj Mountain Rescue Service, agrees and also adds that there are fewer accidents in the mountains in autumn. The number of interventions decreases, mostly due to the lower number of visitors to the mountains. Most interventions are connected with injuries, a lack of knowledge about the terrain, and due to the shorter days when hikers are surprised by nightfall.
Problems occur due to closed alpine huts, because hikers often think that they will be able to spend the night there. There are also call-outs due to mushroom pickers who get lost in the forest. Although statistical data say that there are fewer accidents in autumn, this season is the one that demands more attention to prepare for any hiking or mountaineering venture.
DAYS ARE SHORTER
We must select shorter tours in autumn, because the days are shorter and our tours have to be planned so that we are not surprised by nightfall in the mountains and on unknown trails. Our mandatory equipment includes a torch, and if we opt for longer tours, we should start them earlier in the morning.
WINTER COMES EARLIER IN THE MOUNTAINS THAN IN THE VALLEY
When planning your hiking tour, you must always follow the weather forecast. This can be the decisive factor for whether we can go on a hiking tour or it’s better to stay at home. It is not unusual to encounter snow, especially in the shady corners in late autumn, and on the rocks, we can be surprised by a quite troubling icy cover. The morning frost and fog can often cause us to make an inappropriate step and slip on a root or smooth rock. If the ground is covered with fallen leaves, we must be extra cautious.
Warm clothes are also an important part of our equipment. Autumn mornings are cold, especially in the shady areas and at night. You must not forget to take spare clothes, cardigans, wind jackets, gloves, hats, scarves and glasses.
ALPINE HUTS CLOSE THEIR DOORS
Before going on a tour, check the opening hours of alpine huts on your way. Most huts close their doors in autumn, especially during the week. This means that we have to pack our backpack wisely, including a lunch and enough drinks. It can also happen that we can only rely on the lunch that we bring with us on the way.
THERE ARE FEWER PEOPLE IN THE MOUNTAINS IN AUTUMN
This is probably one of the reasons that autumn is the most popular season among hikers. You will not constantly meet large groups of people and you will be able to enjoy the mountain peace and air. Therefore, some trails can be completely unvisited, meaning that it is good not to hike alone and to have all the equipment that will help us from not getting lost. A map, compass and telephone with a full battery.
Plan a tour adapted to your abilities.
Check the weather forecast.
Be careful, because the high mountains snow can cause you to slip and fall.
Consider that the day is shorter and take appropriate equipment.
Consult experienced guides if you are planning a more demanding tour.
You can also hike with guides.
Check the opening hours of alpine huts – PZS (Slovenian Mountaineering Association) website.
If you encounter problems, do not hesitate and call 112 (emergency).
THE BOHINJ MOUNTAIN RESCUE SERVICE ALSO GIVES A TIP FOR AN AUTUMN HIKE:
Every October, the Bohinj Mountain Rescue Service organises a memorial hike. The tours are planned in the area of ironworks pastures and their peaks. Every year we choose a tour where we discover lesser-known areas of ironworks pastures. Autumn time can be magical in this part of Gorenjska and in nice weather.
You are kindly invited to join us every second Sunday in October. Hikers meet at 7:00 at the Blato pasture. The guides choose the final destination of the tour.