With frequent heavy snow showers forecast for the Highlands over the next few days, with up to a metre of snow expected on Scottish hills, comes a timely reminder of upcoming avalanche awareness courses.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland is staging three such one-day sessions in the New Year, to enable both council members and non-members to increase their skill in judging avalanche risk and make better judgements when heading for the hills.
The MCofS is also putting on four one-day winter skills courses, though these are open only to members.
Heather Morning, the council’s mountain safety adviser, who is organising the courses, said: “The MCofS winter courses are great value for money and a superb way of equipping yourself with the skills needed in the Scottish mountains in winter.”
The avalanche awareness courses cost £50 for non-members, with a discount of £10 for MCofS members. The member-only winter skills sessions are £50 for the day.
Ms Morning continued: “By limiting the course content to the key requirements and one day only we are able to keep costs to a minimum.
“The MCofS is working tirelessly to reduce the number of mountaineering incidents in Scotland and we are urging those that are new to winter activity to take up this opportunity of good quality training as part of achieving that aim.”
The Avalanche awareness courses are on the following dates and venues: Sunday 8 January, Aonach Mòr, Nevis Range; Saturday 4 February and Sunday 5 February, Glencoe ski area.
The winter skills days all take place at Glenmore Lodge near Aviemore on Tuesday 3 January, Friday 6 January, Saturday 28 January and Sunday 29 January.
The sportscotland Avalanche Information Service is due to start its online forecasts and reports on 15 December.