At last a weekend on the hills. Some tips for early season mountaineering.

The day started early with a Covid Test as I am away for a weekend with the Moray Mountaineering Club . There are only a few of us out staying at the Jacobite Mountaineering Club hut near Achnasheen Invercroft.

The hut

These are strange times but it will be good to be out again despite the big changes due to COVID. I am lucky I am all jabbed up and will take it easy.

I will hopefully depending on weather get upa hill. It’s good to see that folk are winter climbing and there is lots of information about on conditions. This is a lot different from when I started winter climbing.

Winter tips: If your starting to winter climb keep an eye on conditions especially early in the season. There are a few good sites about conditions. UKC climbing and A few others are worth a look. It is so important to look at the weather the days before you go. The SAIS avalanche reports give a good guide as well. Most areas are covered and look at them and build an idea of what the snow is doing. The Met office and MWIS are a good Source of weather reports again well worth a look.

Even better every one who is out winter mountaineering should go on an avalanche course and get information from experts.

I had a few mishaps over the years a couple of Call outs when with hindsight we should not have been there. Also early on I was involved in a big Avalanche on Lancet Edge in 1972 I was unaware of the dangers.

Yet winter is a great time to be out and about. The benefits are enormous of a good winter day and even a wild day with a battering from the wind and weather leaves you with that “ready break” glow. It’s hard to explain to those who do not venture out.


Start of Season 2021/22 – Be Alert to Early Winter Snowpack Instabilities

A standby avalanche forecast service will be provided mostly for the Northern Cairngorms and Lochaber regions during the months of November and early December. When significant blanket snow cover is present in the mountains SAIS avalanche forecasters will carry out field observations and produce public avalanche hazard reports. Lochaber reports will be a good reference for the western highland ranges and Northern Cairngorms reports for the eastern highland ranges Daily Avalanche Information Reports for the 6 operational areas of Lochaber, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms , Northern Cairngorms and Torridon regions will be issued from Friday 10th Dec 2021.

Beinn Eighe 1951 photo Joss Gosling.

We are lucky having all these aids to make our winter days safer please use them and remember it’s not winter walking but winter mountaineering on the hills.

Finally be aware of the Deer on the road or transiting at dusk or early morning it could stop your adventure if you hit one.

A must read !

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Articles, Avalanche info, Books, Bothies, Enviroment, Equipment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Recomended books and Guides, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering, Weather, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

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