Walkers, climbers and mountaineers should get an avalanche forecast before setting out

Walkers, climbers and mountaineers should get an avalanche forecast before setting out

Scotland’s mountain safety expert this evening urged caution to those heading for the hills.

The Scottish mountains have experienced more snow recently than at any time in the last few years, meaning many low-level ice-climbing routes have come into condition for the first time in years, and ski touring conditions have been very good. But Heather Morning, mountain safety adviser for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland warned of the continued risk of avalanche.

Ms Morning said more snow is expected in the next few days and walkers, climbers and mountaineers must make sure they get an up-to-date avalanche forecast before they set off. There is also deep snow in many areas, making progress painfully slow.

She said: “Ski touring conditions have been awesome and many low level ice routes have been climbed for the first time in years.  Other, normally popular climbing venues remain unvisited due to inaccessibility from the deep snow conditions.

“These unique conditions also bring their dangers, highlighted by the tragic death of three climbers in avalanche incidents on 30 December.

“The avalanche risk is currently high in many locations due to the volume of snow, continued cold conditions and unusually light winds.  Currently in the Cairngorm region there is a massive build up of snow, major avalanche activity is expected and the avalanche run-outs will extend far out across the flat corrie floors.”

Mountain goers should get a weather forecast as well as the avalanche forecast before heading out. Ms Morning also advised: “It is also worth taking into account how slow progress is for those on foot and adjust your expectations.”

Weather and avalanche information is available via the website accessible through grough’s links page.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Mountain expert issues weekend avalanche warning
  2. Avalanche risk high as wild weather continues to cause problems
  3. Warning of high avalanche risk in popular climbing area
  4. Hypothermia a risk on Scotland’s peaks in August, says mountain expert
  5. Beautiful but dangerous: mountain expert warns of cornice hazard to walkers