After choosing a destination in the mountains, be it for lifestyle or recreation, here’s a few tidbits that should be copy/pasted into everyones mental clipboard. Being aware of these few key elements and resources will greatly enhance your mountain experience, and all around happy fun time.
The hills are home to a wide spectrum of animals, and with a little foreknowledge you can better prepare yourself should you encounter any of these unique creatures. Whether you’re just slashing the slopes for a weekend or plan to settle and work in the mountains, encounters are likely in the most unlikely places, so it’s best to always be prepared. Here is an excellent guide titled “Be Bear Aware” that gives detailed instructions on human/wildlife interactions. Don’t be misled by the title though, there are examples of encounters with other common mountain fauna as well.
Each of the seasons has their own unique flavor in the mountains, but winter stands out, and it’s upon us. Make sure your vehicle is mechanically sound and capable of handling harsh winter conditions, plan the route to your destination, and always check the local weather conditions. Likewise, it would be advisable to brush up on safe winter driving techniques if you haven’t already. Also, keep in mind that avalanches are a reality, and it’s good to get info on where they occur and why, especially for you thrill seekers.
Please tread lightly. If there were such a thing as a “mountain mission statement”, it would be that. These places are a sanctuary for many ecological systems that are often affected by human presence, and it’s our responsibility to lessen our impact upon this fragile “super system” so we can coexist with nature here. Some things you can do to help are: use common sense, don’t litter, stick to the trails in protected areas, know about local hunting and fishing locations and regulations, and get informed about the environmental factors in your region and what you can do to help.
Knowledge is power, and keeping these few elementary things in mind will help safeguard you and your loved ones from some of the most adverse conditions present here. Also, the links provided contain many other links that lead to a wealth of info related to these wonderfully mysterious places. Welcome to the mountains.