The SAIS reports give forecasts for avalanche risk on Scotland's mountains

The SAIS reports give forecasts for avalanche risk on Scotland's mountains

Walkers and climbers heading for some winter thrills on Scotland’s hills will be able to check out avalanche conditions from this weekend.

The sportscotland Avalanche Information Service resumes its weekend service tomorrow for two of its areas.

Reports, including forecasts for avalanche risk, will be online on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Lochaber area and northern Cairngorms.

A full daily report for those two areas plus Creag Meagaidh, the southern Cairngorms and Glencoe will start on 13 December.

The reports will be available on the SAIS website.

The Mountain Weather Information Service is forecasting snow showers and gales, particularly on Scotland’s eastern and northern mountains tomorrow.

A brief thaw on Saturday will see some rain on the mountains before cold weather on Sunday and beyond sees a return to snowy conditions on the hills.

  • A Lake District mountain rescue team appealed to the public not to attempt to drive over mountain passes in its area.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said both the Birker Fell and Hard Knott Pass roads are closed due to snow.

“Please do not cause an avoidable callout to any of the 12 volunteer teams,” a team spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, strong winds prevented the Lake District’s felltop assessor from reaching the summit of Helvellyn today to report on ground and weather conditions.

Gusts of more than 40mph (64kph) were recorded on Swirral Edge at midday today, with windchill giving the equivalent of –9C at 830m.

Fresh snow was recorded falling above 400m, with drifts up to 30cm above 600m on the mountain, England’s third highest.

The assessors, who are employed by the Lake District National Park Authority, appealed to climbers not to use winter routes on ledges and gullies on the mountain until they are in full winter condition, to avoid damaging rare vegetation.

The felltop assessor also said: “Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow and exposed rocks are plastered with rime ice.

“As is usual in these conditions, the steep final exit ramps from both these edges are guarded by large accumulations of windslab. Cornices are also continuing to form above east- through to south-facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas.

“Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing and equipment suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.”

Forecasts and reports from the assessors are on the Lake District Weatherline.

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