Warning for the winter season

New Year’s Eve and Christmas Day are coming. Residents of Prykarpattya region are looking forward to celebrating these holidays according to the various national traditions. But not only Prykarpattya residents are waiting for this. The great quantity of Ukrainians and guests from abroad are going to spend their holidays in winter Carpathians. So next month hundreds or even thousands of tourists will take their places in hotels, rest houses, health resorts and of course in private houses of people who are involved in the green tourism sector.

It has become prestigious to celebrate the New Year in the mountains, so absolute majority of tourists will come here in order to ski and sledge and to see with their own eyes all those bright Christmas performances which are the most interesting here, in the land of the Huzuls. At the disposal of guests there will be dozens of ropeways, ski equipment rent centres and active rest organization professionals. But all these are not exactly the things we would like to talk about here.

Winter is probably the best time for recreation, but it is also the period of the high risk and injuries rate. Snow, ice, wind and frost make any type of rest dangerous for life. Especially this concerns those people who are going to ski with their backbacks across the snow-covered steep mountain slopes and to climb the high Carpathian summits.

To reduce the probability of accidents on tourist routes, Verkhovyna search and rescue group of the Ivano-Frankivsk mountain search and rescue centre are making their best efforts. Mountain search and rescue teams in Kosiv, Verkhovyna, Vorokhta, Yaremche and Osmolod are making all necessary aggangements right now to minimize the quantity of “hot departures” during the season. For this purpose they are examining skiing slopes, ropeways, ski equipment rent centres and potentially dangerous places. Discussions are being held with tourism branch workers, owners of village houses and all those who it may concern in the tourist service business. The transport is being prepared thoroughly for the search and rescue activity departures; emergency reserves of petrol, food and equipment for this work are being stored. This is because the quantity of tourists in mountain areas of the region during the period from December 29 till January 9 will be 10 000 to 15 000 people at the same time.

However, the amount of work for the tourist search and rescue team (30 lifeguards in the region) during all winter months will be no less. 24 hours duty in the centres, every day duty in the places of public skiing, on the crossings of popular tourist routes, in places of the largest quantity of tourists, will be necessary. Of course, 30 lifeguards are unable to provide security for such a big quantity of tourists, that’s why we rely upon the seriousness, consideration and discipline - of tourists first of all, as well as of tourist institutions owners and leaders and their staff. It would be great if all they had that feeling of responsibility for those people who will come to have rest in their centres. These are some rules which will help you to minimize the risk of an accident in the mountains in winter:

  • Do not go to the mountains alone;
  • Follow the skiing rules on the mountain slopes;
  • Use the properly operating and fault-free ski equipment only;
  • Do not drink alcohol while going to the mountains;
  • Make sure you know about all potential dangers of the Ukrainian Carpathians;
  • Use services of the professional guides only;
  • Learn how to give first aid;

Still, if an accident has happened, call our rescue centres immediately and inform us briefly about the following:

  • What has happened
  • Where it has happened
  • When it has happened
  • What is the seriousness of an emergency situation
  • Traveling direction
  • if there are any injured
  • if there is danger for the others
  • Which measures have been taken at the moment concerning:
    • rescuing of people
    • emergency liquidation
    • informing about the emergency

And finally, inform the duty officer of your full name, home address, telephone numbers, place of employment and position. Be sure that the mountain “ambulance” will do its best to be in time.