Winter warning over hills

From the hills above Glenshee looking towards Braemar and Balmoral, and the Cairngorms
From the hills above Glenshee looking towards Braemar and Balmoral, and the Cairngorms

A mountaining club is urging climbers and walkers to take simple steps now to keep themselves safe through the autumn and winter.

Days are already getting shorter and will seem shorter still when the clocks go back an hour this weekend.

“A head torch is a crucial bit of kit for these shorter days,” says mountain safety expert Heather Morning.

“It can make the difference between getting home safely and spending the night out on the mountainside, lost or injured.”

Heather, mountain safety adviser for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), said: “Shorter daylight hours, dropping temperatures and the first dusting of snow on the hills are obvious indicators for hill walkers to think about extra kit in their rucksacks.

“A head torch – with a spare battery – is crucial just in case your chosen route takes a wee bit longer than expected.

“It’s also well worth considering putting away those lightweight, bendy summer boots and changing into a more rigid pair.

“Consider wearing extra layers of clothing too, with a synthetic duvet jacket and emergency shelter stored in the bottom of your rucksack just in case you are stationary on the hill for any length of time.

“And hats, gloves – I recommend at least two pairs – and face protection, such as a buff, will all add to your comfort on the hill as we move towards the winter season.

“Our autumn and winter weather is notoriously unpredictable and you won’t always wear this extra kit, but it should be there in your rucksack so that it’s available when you really do need it.”