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How to Lead a Summit Hike

Keep a group of peakbaggers safe with these field-proven tips.

Early fall–after thunderstorm season and before the first snow–is the perfect time to climb a mountain with a bunch of buddies. But even with good weather, alpine terrain can be dangerous; and the larger your group, the higher the chance for accidents, lost hikers, and time-wasting confusion. Leading an informal group on a summit attempt–even on a walk-up peak–demands expertise and thorough preparation. Follow these guidelines the next time you take charge.

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