Walkers heading for the Scottish hills should prepare properly, experts said. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Walkers heading for the Scottish hills should prepare properly, experts said. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Police and outdoors experts are urging walkers to plan their trips into the mountains properly after a spate of rescue callouts.

Police Scotland said five search and rescue operations have been carried out on mountains in the Highlands since Monday.

A spokesperson said: “Fortunately all were brought to a conclusion without anyone suffering serious injury.”
Officers are encouraging walkers to plan their routes and make sure they leave details of where they expect to go and an expected return time.

Walkers should make sure they are well equipped for the environment with appropriate clothing and footwear, while they also carry navigational equipment and a means of communicating if they do get into difficulty.

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: “At this time of year, people rightly come to the Scottish hills and mountains in search of the excellent walking and climbing challenges available.

“We do not want to put anyone off making the most of these great experiences but we would ask that people take sensible precautions before heading out.

“This means that walkers and climbers can make the most of Scotland’s natural landscape, while it also means police and our partner agencies can help them if something adverse does happen.

“Police Scotland works with the volunteer mountain rescue teams in Scotland to provide a world-class service any time and in any weather.

“However, attempts to help people in difficulty can be made more difficult if they haven’t left details of where they are going or if they are underprepared for the environment they are traveling into.

“We encourage anyone planning to walk or climb in the mountains to make sure they leave details their planned route and an expected time of return before they set off.”

David Gibson, chief executive of Mountaineering Scotland, said: “It’s the middle of July and relatively mild at glen level, but a Scottish summer can bring frequent combinations of wind, cloud and rain at munro height.

“This can turn a pleasant summer walk into a strength-sapping, navigational challenge for even the most experienced hillwalker.

“Enjoy Scotland’s fantastic mountains but plan your route with the weather forecast and wind direction in mind, have adequate and waterproof clothing, and ensure you are not solely reliant on electronic means of navigation and take a map and compass.”

Ian Sherrington, chief instructor at Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre Glenmore Lodge, said: “Preparation is key before heading out.

“Spend a bit of time checking the weather forecasts and consider what impact this will have on you and your party.

“Make sure you have the right equipment, such as a map and compass and check that you know how to use them.

“The mountains are a special place at this time of year, but the scale and complexity of the terrain can become overwhelming and will quickly show up any lack of preparation, so choose your route based on the abilities of the whole group.”

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