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Standards are the Backdrop of Safe and Scenic Mountain Outings


From the iconic Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, to Stony Man Mountain in Shenandoah Valley National Park, the United States has many beautiful mountains for residents and visitors to explore. With the help of standards, there are various ways that hikers and photographers alike can enjoy these natural wonders.

Atop a peak, hikers will have beautiful views of the surrounding mountain range and scenery beyond it. The right pair of binoculars can enhance that view, allowing hikers to explore the plants and animals within it from a distance. ISO 14133-1:2016, Optics and photonics - Specifications for binoculars, monoculars and spotting scopes - Part 1: General purpose instruments, is an international standard that gives requirements for general purpose binoculars such as those used by casual hikers. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 172, Optics and photonics, Subcommittee (SC) 4, Telescopic systems developed the standard. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administrator to TC 172 is the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council (OEOSC), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

For adventurers who can't bear to leave the beautiful views behind them, photography and camera standards allow hikers to snap a photo and relive the experience of the mountaintop whenever they'd like. ANSI/IST IT10.7000-2015, Photography - Digital Still Cameras - Guidelines for Reporting Pixel-Related Specifications, provides guidelines that facilitate camera labeling, camera packaging, and advertising, making it easier for shoppers to purchase the best camera to capture these breathtaking sights. This American National Standard (ANS) was developed by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

Many thrill-seekers visit mountains with more adventurous goals in mind. Standards also support those who wish to climb steeper slopesrather than walk up more gentle trails. ASTM F1774-13, Standard Specification for Climbing and Mountaineering Carabiners, is an ANS developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International. This standard covers six mechanical tests and the minimum performance requirements for carabiners designed for climbing and mountaineering.

For a downhill adventure, mountain biking might be the answer. Another ASTM standard provides guidelines for helmets used in this thrilling activity. ASTM F1952-15, Standard Specification for Helmets Used for Downhill Mountain Bicycle Racing, covers performance requirements for these helmets, requiring greater impact protection than helmets used for recreational street riding. The standard gives performance criteria for chin bars on full-face helmets, but does not require full-face helmets.

For some, climbing up mountains or biking downhill is the best way to experience these natural wonders; others may find viewing the sights and capturing beautiful photographs to be more their speed. However you choose to appreciate the mountains, standards are there to help you enjoy all that nature has to offer.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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