Hillgoers face a return to winter conditions. Photo: Wallace Gilbraith

Hillgoers face a return to winter conditions. Photo: Wallace Gilbraith

Pack away your shorts and t-shirts, and get your crampons and ice-axe back out of the cupboard – winter’s on its way back.

Scotland’s mountaineering experts said weather in the Highlands is due to take a colder turn as the jetstream heads south.

Hillgoers north of the border have recently enjoyed, along with most of the UK, unseasonably warm and sunny weather.

But outdoor enthusiasts yearning for wintry conditions can look forward to snow this weekend if the forecast is correct.

Mountaineering Scotland, which represents climbers, hillwalkers and mountaineers north of the border, said hillgoers need to have their ‘winter heads’ in place. A spokesperson said: “Although the daffodils are just on the cusp of flowering in the lowlands, the weather is set to change back to more usual conditions for the time of year.

“Mountain forecasts for the weekend show a dramatic change in the air mass affecting Scotland. Instead of warm air being drawn up from the deep South within a tropical maritime air mass, the jetstream is dipping south, and Scotland will be influenced by cold air drawn down from the North.

“Freezing levels are dropping below summit level from Saturday onwards and snow is forecast.”

The organisation’s mountain safety adviser Heather Morning said: “Combine fresh snow cover with high winds and poor visibility and it’s time to switch on that #thinkwinter awareness again and reinstate those crampons and ice axes essential for safe travel in the winter mountains.

“It’s important to consider our mind-set: over the past two weeks it very much felt like winter was behind us, so it would be all too easy to get caught out in the wrong place with the wrong kit.

“Planning is key this weekend to make the most of our return to winter.”

Mountaineering Scotland said anyone heading for the hill should check out the information on snow conditions at the Scottish Avalanche Information Service webpage and combine that information with the latest mountain-specific weather forecast.

Links to the Mountain Weather Information Service and the Met Office’s mountain forecasts, along with the SAIS avalanche reports can be found on grough’s links page.

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