Mister LNT: An advocacy for responsible mountaineering through the Leave No Trace principles
An advocacy for responsible mountaineering
in the Philippines through the Leave No Trace* principles

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Ideal Max: 14

The number of climbers in your group
is a function of the volume of other climbers


[CAVEAT: Concepts and numbers stated herein
are essentially and mostly recommendations.

They are not official nor absolute and in no way designed
to infringe into any climber's right to climb as the final decision
to climb depends largely on the climber himself/herself and/or
the group he/she belongs to. Plus, all items are based on
personal experiences and feedback from other mountaineers.]

Based on LNT Principle #1 (plan ahead and prepare), visit in small groups. It does not specify nor define what a small group is. Defining a small group sparks debate because it is relative and subjective.

To simplify: Set the number of climbers in a particular group (using a hierarchy) relative to the volume of other climbers who might be going to or present in the same destination. Mainly, it is your group's number, which you can control, versus the number of other climbers, which you have no control of. This is regardless of trail condition, weather, elevation, carrying capacity, local regulation, transportation requirement. Guides are not included.

Here is a 6-step hierarchy

  • EXTREME MAX: 30 - If there is a high degree of certainty that your group would be the only one climbing given a specific climb date, your group can accommodate up to 30. Applicable to rarely visited destinations. As much as possible, however, effort must still be exerted to reduce the number.

    Team composition
        TL
        ATL/sweeper
        Scribe
        Medic
        Group 1 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 2 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 3 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 4 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 5 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)

  • ACCEPTABLE MAX: 21 - If it is difficult to ascertain if other groups of climbers would be present in the same destination, it is best to be on the safe side by not exceeding 21. Applicable to rarely visited destinations (same as extreme max: 30).

    Team composition
        TL
        ATL/sweeper
        Scribe
        Medic
        Group 1 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 2 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 3 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)

  • IDEAL MAX: 14 - Go with no more than 14 climbers if you are expecting few groups of climbers going to the same destination. Applicable to moderately popular destinations, but better if employed in all destinations.

    Team composition
        TL
        ATL/sweeper
        Scribe
        Medic
        Group 1 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
        Group 2 (With GL, AGL/sweeper, scribe, medic)
       
  • IDEAL MIN: 6 - If it is determined that there will be a sizable number of groups of climbers going to the same destination, go with no more than six (6). Applicable to overly popular destinations and on long weekends/holidays. Best decision: not to go on times of high use, and choose a different date instead.

    Team composition (1 group only): TL, ATL/sweeper, scribe, medic

  • ACCEPTABLE MIN: 2 (Duo) - For safety reasons, make it a habit to tug a buddy along. Do a duo only in less dangerous destinations.

  • EXTREME MIN : 1 (Solo) - A no-no, unless absolutely necessary, like in cases of emergency or life-threatening situations. While a solitary trek presents a whole new experience and moments for personal reflection, not to mention the strong sense of adventure, avoid setting out alone.

 

 

USEFUL RESOURCES



LNT Principle #3:
Dispose of waste properly

 

  • There is no such thing as group trash. Each must have his/her own trash bag.
  • To-go mantra: clean as you go. Example, when cooking, have a garbage bag on your side and immediately shoot the trash you generate into the bag.

 

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