I recently read a fantastic article from trailandultrarunning.com about how the distinction between trail running and mountaineering is becoming increasingly less distinct (Full text here:). I found this article quite relevant as this is the area of sport which I endeavor to place myself within, and I have definitely gotten in over my head before and found myself embroiled within a mini (or sometimes not so mini) epic. It would also be fair to say that I have lead people on “adventure runs” which gave them a bit more than they bargained for, but thankfully this have all ended quite happily so far.
It does, however, bring up an interesting question: How to deal with people who are very keen to push the limits between these two excellent sports but haven’t had a lot of experience with the more technical aspects of mountaineering?
In general, I try to make sure I have at least some idea of people’s comfort level and abilities before i agree to go on a serious adventure run with them; this works well since I m usually going out with friends who I know quite well, but would be more difficult if I was organizing runs for a large club. Either way, the principle remains the same; if you are leading an adventurous run in the mountains, make sure you give people a good idea of what exactly you will be doing and what will be required of each runner, if you are a newer participant, take the initiative to have a look for yourself and make sure you know what you are getting into. At the end of the day, preparedness starts with every person partaking in the activity, and if you feel yourself getting in over your head don’t just hope everything will be okay; speak up, take action. I guarantee you that the people you are with would rather have you safe and happy than find themselves in an emergency situation.