Heather Morning: 'looking forward to getting some great quality mountain days'

Heather Morning: 'looking forward to getting some great quality mountain days'

Hillgoers in the Highlands are being urged to curb their excitement as the mountains experience a welcome return to winter conditions.

Mountaineering Scotland said those heading to the peaks should remember the golden rules of winter mountaineering and prepare for changeable conditions.

The organisation, which represents climbers, hillwalkers, mountaineers and ski-tourers north of the border, said, after a winter which has been characterised by warmer than usual temperatures and lack of good snow, many outdoor enthusiasts are eager to get out into the white stuff and make the most of the pleasures of the winter mountains.

Heather Morning, mountain safety adviser for Mountaineering Scotland, said: “People are understandably excited now that proper winter conditions seem to have finally settled in – I’m looking forward to getting some great quality mountain days myself.

“But don’t let that excitement overrule your hill sense. There has been a lot of fresh snow and a lot of wind, which creates often complex situations regarding avalanche risks on different parts of the mountains, so it is absolutely essential that you pay close attention to the advice from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service as well as a good mountain-specific weather forecast.”

This week has seen more than 50 UK and international winter climbers busy on Scotland’s icy cliffs and gullies and avalanche risk has been one of the main considerations each evening when planning which routes to go for the following day.

Mountaineering Scotland, one of the organisers of the meet, said some long-cherished goals have been put to one side as approach routes to some of the cliffs have been at risk of avalanche, with the old rule at the front of everyone’s minds: ‘The mountains will always be there: the trick is to make sure that you are too’.

Planning and safety advice for winter mountaineering is available on the Mountaineering Scotland website.

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