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Snow heralds start to Scottish avalanche forecasts

Snow on the hills in all six of the forecast areas heralded the start of this winter’s avalanche forecasting service.

Forecasts are provided by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) for the following areas: Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms, Northern Cairngorms and Torridon from mid December to mid April.

As well as providing detailed daily forecasts which hillwalkers can use in combination with weather reports to plan their routes, the SAIS builds up a record of avalanche activity across Scotland. Last winter was a mild one in the Scottish hills but there were still 144 recorded avalanches, 21 of them triggered by humans. Last season there were three avalanche-related fatalities compared to none in the previous two winters despite much harsher conditions.

Mark Diggins, SAIS co-ordinator told Walkhighlands, “One of the main perceptions of last winter was that it was lean snow season with limited avalanche activity. This was in fact not the case and that bad weather, instabilities and avalanche activity with human involvement occurred in significant number.” Hillwalkers and climbers are asked to report any avalanches they witness to the SAIS via the website where the daily reports can also be viewed.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.