Walkers and climbers heading for the hills should leave route details. Photo: MCofS

Walkers and climbers heading for the hills should leave route details. Photo: MCofS

Mountaineers have backed a police plea for outdoor enthusiasts to leave details of their intended route when heading for the hills.

Police Scotland said the instances of rescue searches where no details have been left are increasing.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said a note of your route was vital and echoed the police view that not doing so risks protracted searches putting rescuers at risk.

Police Scotland Highland and Islands division said its partnership with the MCofS was seeking the help of walkers and climbers to ensure they take simple precautions to stay safe this winter but also to leave notice of their intentions should they subsequently need the police and mountain rescue experts.

Superintendent Colin Gough said: “At this time of year, people rightly come to the Scottish mountains in search of the excellent winter sports and mountaineering challenges available.

“Already, people are making winter ascents of technical winter climbs; ascending munros in full winter conditions and even managing to make some off-piste ski descents.

“We do not want to put anybody off these great outdoor experiences by talking about taking precautions in case things go wrong, but we are looking for the help and support of the hill-going public to help us to help them if something adverse happens.

“Police Scotland works with the volunteer mountain rescue teams in Scotland to provide a world-class service any time and in any weather. We are, however, increasingly challenged by searches for people who have left minimal or no information regarding their intentions.

“The problem is that this changes a search for a person reported overdue or missing from a likely route on a likely mountain, to the potential of having to search a whole range of hills.

“We know that not everyone will want leave a written route card, but we are asking the hill-going public, and even those on lower-level rambles, to make sure that somebody knows where they are going, so that we have a better idea where to look for them if they are overdue.”

David Monteith of the MCofS said: “The Mountaineering Council of Scotland campaigns to ensure all those who enjoy Scottish mountains in winter are responsible, informed and self-reliant.

“As such we endorse the Police Scotland message regarding leaving word of where you are going; detailed advice can be found on the MCofS website.

“Leaving route details is vital if valuable and scarce resources are not to be wasted in fruitless searches putting others at risk as well as those who have sought help.

“The Scottish mountains are wonderful in winter but can be unforgiving for the unprepared; plan ahead, especially regarding your route, weather and avalanche hazard; carry the right equipment and know how to use it; if unsure, find a winter mountaineering course to update those essential skills.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Missing walker Tom Brown’s sister pleads with hill-goers to leave route details
  2. Mountaineers urge tourist firms to join campaign to limit windfarms
  3. Mountaineers urge minister John Swinney to oppose Rannoch windfarm
  4. Police reveal details of second missing Steall walker Tom Brown
  5. Police delay release of avalanche victims’ details