Plan ahead when heading to the mountains
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.
‘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.’