By Mountaineering Scotland:
Mountaineering experts are teaming up to ensure that people
heading for Scotland’s winter hills and mountains can have easy access to the
right information and advice.
Although we live in the information age, it can sometimes
feel like the information overload age, with an abundance of advice and tips
available, some of which is contradictory and much of which is well-meaning but
may be inappropriate or simply wrong – and potentially dangerously so.
To tackle the information tangle, Scotland’s leading
mountain skills and safety organisations have joined forces for a fourth
#ThinkWINTER campaign to direct people to the most relevant sources of advice
on winter hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking, and ski/snowboard touring in
Scotland and make it available free of charge to all who require it.
The joint venture between Mountaineering Scotland, Scottish
Mountain Rescue, Glenmore Lodge, Mountain Training Scotland, Developing
Mountain Biking in Scotland and Snowsport Scotland, aims to cut through the
confusion and provide a trusted and reliable source which everyone can access.
Throughout the winter season, information, advice and tips
will be shared through social media posts using the hashtag #ThinkWINTER as
well as on the organisations’ websites and through a series of talks and online
Stuart Younie, Chief Executive Officer of Mountaineering
Scotland, said: “Tackling the Scottish mountains in winter conditions can be a
serious undertaking, and it requires careful planning as well as the additional
skills and equipment beyond those needed for summer hill walking.
“With so much information now available online and on social
media, we want to make sure people know how to access reliable and up to date
information to help them keep safe and enjoy their winter adventures.
“We are delighted to be working together with a range of
organisations, professional instructors, safety experts and mountain
rescuers to ensure we are providing advice that is relevant, useful and, above
Shaun Roberts, Principal of Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s
National Outdoor Training Centre, said: “We’re all eager to make the most of
this winter after such a difficult year and for many of us this will be our
first winter days out in a very long time. We’ll all need to be honest
with ourselves around skills fade and to take time to remember to dial in our
winter mountain sense, be that on a pair of skis or on foot. Access the
Scottish Avalanche Information Service forecasts and blog posts, build back up
slowly and let’s make this a winter full of good memories.”
While the #ThinkWINTER campaign aims to provide information
to help people be self-sufficient in the mountains and avoid the need for help
from volunteer mountain rescue teams, the organisations involved also want to
make sure people know how to call for help and what to do in the event that things
do go wrong.
Damon Powell, Chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, the
umbrella organisation for most mountain rescue teams in Scotland, said: “Spending
time in our mountains and wild places across Scotland has become more important
than ever, whether you are new to the hills or an experienced mountaineer. If
you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy Scotland’s mountains, when many would
say they are at their finest, we would urge you to #ThinkWINTER and ensure you
are suitably equipped, with the necessary skills, to enjoy our incredible
outdoors safely and thereby support our volunteer teams who will assist you any
hour, any day and any weather.
“And remember, if you are lost, injured and in need of
assistance or in an emergency, dial 999 ask for POLICE then MOUNTAIN RESCUE.”
Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland,
said: “Mountain biking in Scotland is accessible all year round, with a choice
of outstanding trail centres and so many natural rides spread across the
country. We know that riding in the winter months brings an extra element to
mountain biking safely, and we are keen to provide good advice and promote
responsible messaging to help keep the mountain bike community safe through the
winter months, wherever they choose to ride.
“We are delighted to again be part of the #THINKWINTER campaign to promote these important winter safety messages to
all mountain bikers.”
sources for winter mountaineering include:
– our guide to planning, decision making, equipment, winter skills and more.
Skills courses and
Mountaineering Scotland: www.mountaineering.scot/safety-and-skills/courses-and-events/courses
Glenmore Lodge: www.glenmorelodge.org.uk/winter-mountain/
Mountain Training’s winter qualifications: Winter Mountain
Leader, Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor. More info: www.mountain-training.org
Avalanche and weather
Scottish Avalanche Information Service: www.sais.gov.uk/
Mountain Weather Information Service: www.mwis.org.uk/
Met Office mountain forecasts: www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/specialist-forecasts/mountain
For advice on calling for assistance from Mountain Rescue,
Information about Mountain Biking: