Tips for safe and enjoyable mountain climbing

The secret to safe and enjoyable mountain climbing is to walk slowly with small steps and at a speed that allows you to talk.


Walking fast with long strides is easy to get tired and cause accidents.

General trekking and climbing precautions

There is a Japanese proverb like this.

Failure is something that you will definitely do when you enter an easy place.”

There are few accidents because we are careful in dangerous rocky areas, but there are many accidents in the following situations, so let's be careful.

When you are walking with careless

During the descent (Accidents are less wile ascent)

When walking while being fascinated by a wonderful scenery

When climbing or walking with doing something such as changing clothes, reading a map, operating a smartphone, etc.  (If you want to do it, please stop walking.)


Accidents are also likely to occur in the following situations,

When you got tired

When walking at an excessive pace (when trying to keep up with other members)

When walking on mountain trails with loose rocks and tree roots (You may lose your balance by placing your feet on loose rocks and fall. The roots of trees after rain are slippery and it is easy to fall if you put your feet on them. Please walk with caution at both cases.)

When you're walking looking down (You may bump your head or face into the trees or rocks in front of you, so check the front frequently while walking. And above all, let's enjoying trekking with watching the surrounding scenery, trees, flowers, etc. but not watching only front ground.)

When passing through a narrow rocky area forgetting that the rucksack has a side bag, stock, etc. (There is a danger that the rucksack side hits the rock and slides down due to the impact.)

When climbing steep slopes and rocky areas (Three-point support is the principle. Three-point support refers to climbing with only one of the four arms and legs moving and the other three remaining stationary.)

When you overestimate the ropes, chains, ladders, etc. on steep slopes and put your entire weight on them. (The rope or chain may not be firmly fixed, so be sure to apply force before using it to make sure it is safe. Also, when using ropes and chains, it is easy to lose your balance, so please use it calmly. In some ropes, thin ropes with weak strength are stretched. In this case, it is dangerous to support your body with this. When using tree branches, tree roots, stones, etc. for support, make sure that they are safe before using them. In addition, there are dangerous places in front of and behind such steep slopes, rocky areas, ropes, ladders, etc. If you let your guard down, you may slip down the steep slopes.

Regarding the above, the guide will give timely warnings during climbing.

  If you feel unsafe or tired, please take a break!!

Be careful not to get lost

There are cases where accidents occur due to getting lost while climbing individually or with friends, so here are some notes. In guided mountaineering, you may not get lost, but if you do, we will respond according to these points of caution.

Check if you are heading in the right direction with a magnet (compass) and a map, or a smartphone app with a GPS function (Yamap, Geographica, etc.). In addition, it is recommended that you acquire the skills to check the location and direction with maps and compass.

Be especially careful when you start walking. If you start walking on the correct mountain trail, you can enjoy climbing if you walk along the mountain trail with almost no worries.

However, it is easy to get lost on mountain trails with few climbers because the route is not clear. In particular, it is easy to get lost on the road along the downhill stream and the wide ridge road. Furthermore, it is easy to get lost in fog or rain.

Look for ribbons attached to branches, marks drawn on rocks, and footprints to follow the correct mountain trail. (However, ribbons, etc. may be for forestry workers and not for climbers, so it is basic to climb the mountain while checking whether the current location is on the mountain trail or not.)

If you get lost and walk in thickets other than mountain trails, you will be physically and mentally fatigued. Don't walk on thickets that aren't on mountain trails.

If you get lost, calm down and turn back to the trail. Then make sure you are on the right trail and start walking in the right direction. Also, calm your mind and check your current location and mountain trail with a map, compass, GPS, etc. If you rush forward blindly, you run the risk of slipping onto rocks and cliffs. Take a deep breath, take snacks, hot water, etc. and calm down before you act. When you get off the road along the stream and realize that it is not a mountain trail, it is quite difficult to climb back up and return to the mountain trail, but this patience is very important for safe climbing.


Be aware that some ridges and creeks may not appear on the map due to map scale. Also, there may be mountain trails that are not reflected on the map, so it is necessary to climb while checking the topographical conditions.

1,2,3 for trekking / climbing mountains

Physical strength

Always try to improve your physical fitness. We recommend walking around town, walking on the stairs (skip one if possible), squats, etc. If you use a train for commuting, how about getting off one station or two before and lengthening the walking time?

Sense of balance

As we age, our sense of balance declines. When you reach the age of 50 or 60, you should be aware that your sense of balance is about 20% less than it was when you were 20. If you feel dizzy, squat down. On rocky grounds, secure three points to keep your balance.

Water and food

Hydration is essential to prevent heatstroke. The amount of replenished water during climbing is calculated by the following formula.

Replenishment water volume = 5 mL x body weight (kg) x climbing time (hours)

If you are 60 kg and walk for 4 hours, drink 1.2 liters (5 x 60 x 4 = 1200 mL) before and during the climb. The most efficient way to drink is to drink small amounts frequently rather than all at once. (If you drink it vigorously, it will feel refreshing as it passes through your throat, but it will be difficult for your body to absorb it and it will be easily excreted as urine.)

Replenishment of meals and sweets is also necessary. The replenishment energy from before climbing to during climbing is calculated by the following formula.

Consumed/replenished energy (Kcal) = 5 x body weight (kg) x climbing time (hours)


If you are 60kg and walk for 4 hours, take 1200Kcal (=5x60x4). In case you take 500 Kcal for breakfast, and take 700 Kcal frequently while climbing before you get hungry. When you're hungry, you won't even have the strength to walk. If you only have rice balls for lunch and middle meals, bring four rice balls to replenish energy as one rice ball is about 200 kcal. (700 kcal < 4 x 200 = 800). An example for taking rice ball is eating one per hour as a middle meal and eating two at lunch. Of course, you can also replenish your energy with your favorite meals or sweets other than rice balls.

Shoes, clothing, equipment, etc.


Instead of purchasing shoes by mail order, try them on at a climbing equipment store to make sure they fit your feet before purchasing. If you wear shoes that do not fit your feet, you will get blisters and it will hurt and you will not be able to enjoy climbing. If you are purchasing for the first time, I recommend high-cut climbing shoes that are effective in preventing sprains. Also, waterproof shoes are recommended. It is safe even when it rains or when walking in wet places.


For underwear shirts, wear moisture-absorbing and quick-drying skin shirts that keep you warm. When wearing a cotton T-shirt, it is a good idea to bring a change of clothes or put a towel between the T-shirt and your back. Cotton shirts are hygroscopic but not quick-drying, and can become cold when the wind blows, causing hypothermia.

·Rain gear

Bring rain gear. Even if there is no rain forecast in the weather forecast, it may rain in the mountains. Let's bring the top and bottom of the rain gear. In the case of low mountains (up to about 1000m), it can also be used as a substitute for winter clothes.

·Rucksack / back pack

We recommend about 20 liters (L) for day trips, and about 40 L for overnight trips.


If you have a stock, you will be able to easily climb steep slopes. It also makes going downhill easier. However, overconfidence in the stock is also not good as it may cause injury. Also, stocks get in the way in rocky area, so we put the stock in the rocky place in the rucksack. Outside of snowy mountains, attach a cap to the tip of the stock. If you use it without a cap, the sharp pole will stick into the soil and cause the soil to run off, causing the mountain trail to collapse.

·Head lamp

Even if you plan to climb a mountain on a day trip, you may end up walking in the dark as the sun sets and the descent is delayed. Especially in autumn and winter when the days are short, it gets dark around 3 or 4 PM. If you have a headlamp, you can climb even in the dark, so bring it for safety.



Please ask if you have any questions about equipment. There are some things you can borrow.

Measures against hypothermia

Not only in the snowy mountains in winter, but also in the mountains in summer, sweat-soaked shirts can get cold due to wind and rain and cause hypothermia. As a countermeasure, wear a moisture-absorbing and quick-drying shirt, change the wet shirt to a dry shirt made of wool or synthetic fiber, wear heat-retaining winter clothes, drink hot water, take snacks, and wearing disposal pocket warmer.


It is not good to drink caffeine (coffee) making bood vessels constriction, and alcohol causing dilation of blood vessels.

Solo mountaineering

You can enjoy the mountains without hesitation when hiking alone. On the other hand, there are many accidents during solo climbing. Climbing alone is not recommended for safe climbing. This is because if you are involved in an accident while climbing in a group, your friends will help you, so it is less likely that a serious accident will occur.

Enrollment in mountaineering insurance, etc.

Even if you are very careful, accidents could happen. In the event of an accident, there are cases where a large amount (approximately 500,000 to 2,000,000 yen) is required for helicopter and rescue costs. When participating in this guided mountain trekking / climbing, I ask that you take out mountain climbing insurance. If you are unsure, I will introduce insurance that you can easily purchase.

If you participate in this guided mountain climbing, the guide will submit a mountain climbing notification for all participants, so there is no need for each participant / client to submit a mountain climbing notification.

On the other hand, don't forget to submit a mountain climbing notification when you climb a mountain on your own! "In the unlikely event of an accident, rescue operations will be carried out based on this." At least let your family know where you are going before you leave.

There is also a membership search helicopter service called Kokoheli.


Individual climbers are encouraged to join and bring their own. In addition, the guide is a member of Kokoheli.

In case of accident in mountains

I will definitely come back alive! Keep having that thought. If you give up, it's over! As a countermeasure, it is safe to prepare a mountain climbing notification, cocohelicopter, map/compass, smartphone app, emergency food, etc.


- Japan Mountain Guides Association text

- Sliding accident, Osamu Haneda