Plan ahead when head­ing to the moun­tains

The Oban Times - - News -

ANY­ONE plan­ning to ven­ture to the hills this win­ter has been asked to let some­one know where they are go­ing.

High­lands and Is­lands po­lice and the Moun­taineer­ing Coun­cil of Scot­land say sim­ple pre­cau­tions such as leav­ing a planned route with some­one to aid res­cuers if some­thing goes wrong.

David Mon­teith from the moun­taineer­ing coun­cil said: ‘Leav­ing route de­tails is vi­tal if valu­able and scarce re­sources are not to be wasted in fruit­less searches putting oth­ers at risk as well as those who have sought help.

‘The Scot­tish moun­tains are won­der­ful in win­ter but can be un­for­giv­ing for the un­pre­pared. Plan ahead, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing your route, weather and avalanche haz­ard, carry the right equip­ment and know how to use it.

‘If un­sure, find a win­ter moun­taineer­ing course to up­date those es­sen­tial skills.’

Su­perinden­dent Colin Gough added: ‘At this time of year, peo­ple rightly come to the Scot­tish moun­tains for the ex­cel­lent win­ter sports and moun­taineer­ing chal­lenges.

Off piste

‘Al­ready, peo­ple are mak­ing win­ter as­cents of tech­ni­cal win­ter climbs, as­cend­ing Munros in full win­ter con­di­tions and even man­ag­ing to make some off piste ski de­scents.

‘We do not want to put any­one off th­ese great out­door ex­pe­ri­ences by talk­ing about tak­ing pre­cau­tions in case things go wrong, but we are look­ing for the help and sup­port of the hill-go­ing pub­lic to help us to help them if some­thing ad­verse hap­pens.

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

‘We are, how­ever, in­creas­ingly chal­lenged by searches for peo­ple who have left min­i­mal or no in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing their in­ten­tions.’

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