As the weather turns colder, and with more snow forecast to fall over the next few weeks, mountain safety organisations are coming together to encourage people to ‘ThinkWINTER’ and ensure that those heading for Scotland’s winter hills and mountains can easily access the right information and advice.
Follow the ThinkWINTER! checklist:
- What will the weather and conditions be like? Plan your route and check the mountain weather and avalanche forecasts in advance
- Have you got the right clothing and equipment for winter? Be prepared for snow, ice and very cold temperatures - pack appropriate outdoor winter clothing, footwear and equipment and take plenty to eat and drink
- Is your intended route suitable for your experience and fitness level, and that of anyone you're going with? Make sure you have the right winter skills and experience for what you are planning to do
- Do you have a number of options or are you set on one route or plan? Know your limits and be prepared to alter your plans if the weather or conditions change
Have you told someone else where you are going? Let someone know where you are going, what you intend to do and what time you will be back
- Do you know when and how to call for help? In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for Police, and then Mountain Rescue
Mountaineering Scotland’s Senior Mountain Safety Advisor, Ross Cadie, explained: “When winter arrives in Scotland’s mountains, we need to make sure we do our homework before heading out. Planning and preparation from trusted sources and matching your adventure to your level of skill and conditions will help you return home safely.”
Mark Diggins, from The Scottish Avalanche Information Service, said “Cold temperatures and the arrival of the first winter snowfall is an exciting time for all those who enjoy the winter mountains - we provide winter avalanche hazard information to help with your choices and planning. Even on those first days, ThinkWINTER and be switched on from day one.”
Shaun Roberts, Principal of Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, said: “The winter mountains have a habit of finding you out if you have not planned well. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips – avalanche hazard information, mountain weather information, winter equipment advice – use it well and have some amazing adventures this winter”
Scotland’s volunteer mountain rescue teams have also been preparing for the winter season and assisting anyone who gets into difficulty in the mountains. Scottish Mountain Rescue Chair, Bill Glennie, said: “Do go out into the outdoors and enjoy Scotland’s mountains when many would say they are at their finest, but do it safely, with the appropriate skills and equipment, as highlighted in the #ThinkWINTER campaign. And remember, if you are lost, injured and in need of assistance or in an emergency, dial 999 ask for POLICE then MOUNTAIN RESCUE.”
More information can be found on the Mountaineering Scotland website.
Image credits: Ocean Vertical.