The reception will take place at the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood. Photo: Mary and Angus Hogg CC-BY-SA-2.0

The reception will take place at the Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood. Photo: Mary and Angus Hogg CC-BY-SA-2.0

Parliamentarians will hear from mountaineers and rescuers at a Holyrood reception.

Representatives of Scottish Mountain Rescue and Mountaineering Scotland will attend an event hosted by Conservative Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Liz Smith on Tuesday.

The two groups said the event is a chance to celebrate the dedication and expertise of the volunteers and professionals working to promote mountain safety. A spokesperson said: “There will also be a chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges they may face in the future.

“Scottish Mountain Rescue and Mountaineering Scotland are looking to build on their success and deliver world-class mountain safety information, training and rescue services for Scotland’s internationally famous mountains and wild landscapes.”

The spokesperson said the reception will provide insight for MSPs and their staff into the growing outdoor community in Scotland made up of hillwalkers, climbers, mountaineers, snowsport tourers, guides, instructors and volunteer mountain rescue teams. It will also recognise the significant contribution made by this community to the nation’s economy and wellbeing.

MSPs will also learn about the work of the Mountain Safety Group, led by Mountaineering Scotland with Scottish Mountain Rescue, Glenmore Lodge, the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, the Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Training Scotland.

Mountaineering Scotland’s chief executive Stuart Younie said: “Scotland’s mountains are more popular than ever and one of Mountaineering Scotland’s key priorities is providing advice, guidance and support to ensure people understand the challenges, can keep themselves safe, and get out there and have a great experience.

“Through the Mountain Safety Group we have developed a strong partnership of organisations who bring together a range of specialist expertise and knowledge, and over the last couple of years have worked together to raise awareness of mountain safety, including the winter safety campaign #ThinkWinter.

“This parliamentary reception is an important chance to celebrate the good work that is going on and to explore how we can work more collaboratively with government to build on our success and deliver truly world class mountain safety services.”

Damon Powell, chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue, which represents 24 of the teams north of the border, said: “We are delighted to be holding our second parliamentary reception in partnership with Mountaineering Scotland to highlight the incredible dedication and services of our mountain rescue teams and to raise awareness of staying safe in the outdoors.

“Our member teams saw a 50 per cent increase in callouts last year and we believe this is an ideal time to come together with Mountaineering Scotland and the Scottish Parliament to discuss the ever evolving outdoors sector and work together on how we can build a stronger future for teams and public safety.”

Mountaineering Scotland is the representative organisation for hillwalkers, climbers and ski-tourers in Scotland and has more than 14,500 members. It also acts on behalf of 80,000 members of the British Mountaineering Council on matters related to landscape and access in Scotland.

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