Mountain Dont's

In 1925 Albert H. MacCarthy had just led a successful first ascent of Mount Logan in Canada, composed of climbers from Canada, Britain and the United States. MacCarthy, an American and member of the American Alpine Club, wrote a number of reports and summaries of the expedition, including this list of Mountain “Dont’s.”

Much of his advice is still relevant today, 94 years later. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites with photos from the 1925 Mount Logan Expedition.

Check out the original list at the bottom of the post. What “Dont’s” would you add?


Don’t throw stones - someone may retaliate.


Don’t depreciate the quality of your climb and accomplishment - others will do it for you


Don’t lose your temper - no one else wants it, and the fault is probably your own.


Don’t stop at the top of a slope to view the scenery and leave others below to wait for you - move far enough so all can come up, otherwise they ought to pull you down.


Don’t throw your ice axe, always place it. If you must hit someone use your fist.


Don’t wait until you are called in the morning to hunt your equipment; some of it may want to sleep late.


Don’t be a coward and refuse to ask for help when you feel you need it; others may know it anyway


Don’t jerk the rope. If it is caught gently swing it clear or pick it up - it will remember a kindness


Don’t burden others of the party with your unnecessary articles of equipment and clothing, if you can’t carry what you need you are not fit for the climb.


Don’t expect to be pulled along. The one behind you may get the same notion.


Don’t come to camp expecting others to equip you; they may have need for their own gear.


Don’t think that conversation is a polite necessity in the mountains; they speak eloquently themselves.


Don’t pull a second time after checking another’s slip - the first pull will not make him vindictive.


Don’t insist upon a rest in a line of avalanche or rock fall; for you might “rest in peace.”


Don’t get out of your place in the party, you may be butting in.


Don’t fail, whatever the results of this season, to come back to the mountains for a touch of new life and vigor next season.