Down on the West visiting a sick friend and managed an hour with Hamish McInnes in Glencoe he was on top form and what a “bleather” we had. He is working on putting his books on Kindle and in the process of writing a few more some man. The weather was wild with rain and a windy night yet when I came out Glencoe was clear and the hills looking stunning, it is amazing what the great man can do.
Hamish was re – looking at this book when I arrived and we had a great chat. I love this book and my Dad bought me it many years ago and is a great read for anyone who climbs in the mountains. The earliest of Hamish’s volumes dealing with Mountain Rescue, this is probably still the best. Worth a look to anyone whose spent any time in the Scottish hills, especially those around Glencoe.
Mountaineering Council Of Scotland website Wednesday 2nd December 2015
“Scotland’s mountains are a winter playground attracting thousands of hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers. With snow now on the hills, we are urging outdoor enthusiasts to get out and enjoy the mountains, but to check first that they are equipped for winter, in a bid to reduce the number of safety related incidents at this time of year.
Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland advises: “Shorter daylight hours, dropping temperatures and the first dusting of snow on the hill are all good indicators that it is time to think about extra kit in your rucksack. It’s easy to get caught out after the clocks change, especially as routes will take longer than expected in winter conditions and many people will end up finishing their route in the dark – so a head torch – and spare batteries – is crucial”.
As the representative body for Scotland’s hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers, we campaign to ensure our 12,500 members and all those who enjoy Scottish mountains are responsible, informed and self-reliant.
Heather continues “If you are heading out on the higher tops, now is the time to add crampons, rigid boots to accommodate them, an ice axe and spare essentials such as hats and winter gloves to your essential kit list.”
With temperatures at 1000m at least 10°c lower than sea level at this time of year – and feeling even lower through the effect of any wind chill – many underestimate how quickly they can feel the cold – which can turn to hypothermia within less than an hour.
Extra layers are essential, such as a synthetic duvet jacket, and an emergency bivvi bag stored in the bottom of a rucksack is highly recommended, just in case you have to be stationary on the hill for any length of time.
Those who head to the hills with friends or as part of a group are advised to invest in a lightweight, nylon group shelter. This can provide a snug spot for lunch if the weather is poor and a vital refuge if someone in your party is injured and you are waiting for help to arrive.
Every winter the MCofS reaches out to the wider mountaineering community; teaming up with outdoor shops across the country to offer a series of free winter mountain skills talks. 11 talks are held at venues from Inverness to Edinburgh, designed to give a taster of essential skills for novices and a refresher for seasoned mountaineers.
Heather explains “We find that an effective way to get the message out to less experienced mountain lovers or those who want to progress from summer hillwalking to winter mountaineering, is to reach them through our free to attend talks. Dealing with winter conditions and avalanche avoidance isn’t just a case of buying all the right gear,” she said. “The right knowledge and experience is crucial.”