SportScotland’s Avalanche Information Service, which has only been available via the internet, can now by received on mobile phones on a paying subscription service. The service will operate for any one or more of the five most popular Scottish mountain areas covered by the Avalanche Information Service reports: North Cairngorms, South Cairngorms, Lochaber, Glencoe and Creag Meagaidh.
For £1 per message, a person can subscribe to the service by sending a key word to the number 88020. The relevant area text will be sent out daily at 1800 hours enabling users to adjust their plans if necessary. Having sent the keyword to the number 88020 subscribers will be sent a free text confirming that the text service is active, explaining the cost and how to terminate.
The SAIS daily forecasted avalanche report is produced by a dedicated team of professionals who assess the avalanche hazard in all weathers and comprises the observers interpretation of the previous days snowpack stability along with the weather forecast.
For winter mountain users it is critical to obtain the Avalanche Report from the SAIS at the correct time, this is essential in that the ‘best time’ for this is at the planning stage. If the weather report and avalanche information are incorporated into the planning of any mountain walk, hill journey, ski tour or climbing excursion before going into the hills it will enable better and safer route choice.
The Mountain Weather Information Service now looks set to follow suit with a free service. Dave Gibson of from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland said, “We are confident that climbers and hill walkers will welcome the new text service. Provision of up-to-the-minute information services to mobile and internet-enabled phones means that better-informed decisions concerning route choice can be made on the day. We are pleased to confirm that MCofS is working with the Mountain Weather Information Service to provide a similar internet-based service to mobile devices which will be provided free of charge except for network call charges. An announcement concerning this service will be made in the near future.”