Outfit Moray – New Patron an honour.

 I was asked recently by an old friend if I would be a Patron of a local Charity Outfit Moray.  This is what I wrote.

“Many thanks for the honour of being the First Patron of Outfit Moray and I will try to do my best for you. I have read and met some of your instructors on my travels and heard lots of good things about the organisation and the work you do and if I can help in any way I will. Outfit Moray are are great asset to the local community I am especially interested in their vision to get youngsters out in outdoors and all the benefits that this brings.

“I am looking forward to using my years of experience to help Outfit Moray continue with their amazing charitable work in using outdoor learning and adventure to develop the potential of young people, their  families and communities; building self-confidence, growing self- esteem, improving life skills and encouraging active learning. As a charity and social business, Outfit Moray is unique in its holistic approach, valuing courage, compassion, patience perseverance and integrity. Through encouraging risk awareness, positive risk taking, teamwork, leadership and a selfless approach to others, they are very successful in increasing health & well being, encouraging resourcefulness and creating a sense of purpose in young people.

At times we forget our local Charities and I am sure that any help anyone can give would be greatfully


‘Heavy’ will open and be speaking at the first of a series of Spirit of Adventure Evenings at the Universal Hall, Findhorn on 27th February 2015 to raise money for Outfit Moray. Tickets priced at £5.50 are available from info@outfitmoray.com


Outfir Moray logo

Outfit Moray

Our Vision

Outfit Moray changes lives by creating the opportunity for everyone to take part in outdoor learning and adventure activities irrespective of their ability, financial position or location.

Our Mission

To actively develop potential and make a difference to the lives of others, and in particular young people, their families and communities, through accessible and affordable outdoor learning and adventure: building self-confidence, growing self-esteem, encouraging life skills and improving health.

We take a holistic approach to developing potential, using outdoor adventure to build trust, to challenge and to provide focus; valuing courage, compassion, patience, perseverance and integrity. We encourage risk awareness and positive risk taking, teamwork, leadership and a selfless approach to others. It is our aim to increase happiness and improve well-being, encourage resourcefulness and create a sense of purpose in life.

We value volunteers, providing training and development opportunities to enhance their skills, enabling them to participate in our work and use outdoor adventure to change lives.


Our Aims

  • To increase the capacity to deliver activities by developing a strong volunteer programme
  • To achieve a range of key outcomes relating to life skills and personal development
  • To provide a wide variety of outdoor activities that are imaginative and challenging and where ‘positive risk taking’ is encouraged
  • To support key agencies, organisations and groups in Moray to make Scotland a wealthier, fairer, healthier, safer, smarter, stronger and greener society
  • To build effective long term partnerships with local community organisations, other social enterprises, the local authority and private sector business.

Our Outcomes

  • Continuous progress towards being at least 50% financially sustainable
  • Volunteers skills are enhanced through training and development opportunities and experience is gained through regular contact with young people
  • The life skills of young people (including leadership, team working, communication, personal planning and taking responsibility) will be enhanced and improved
  • People will be more active outdoors and consequently healthier in mind and body
  • Young people will be more engaged in learning
  • The confidence and self esteem of young people in particular and others supported by the project will be  developed and improved.


Fundraising and Sustainability

To fulfil our objectives we work hard to raise funds and subsidise our activities. However, to sustain our level of commitment to the communities of Moray we are in constant need of donations from Grant Making Trusts, Corporate Organisations and Private Sponsors.

Our Values

These are the things we think are important in the people we employ and work with, and in the way we work. These are values we hope to instill in the young people we work with through our EnerG and Activ8 projects.


Shared values, loyalty, trust, respect, sharing, inclusion, diversity, support, friendship, leadership, family, honesty, openness, fairness, equality, responsibility, accountability


Access to the outdoors, encouraging others to enjoy and care for the environment and to take responsibility, leaving the area cleaner than we found it, treading gently, driving and parking carefully, helping land owners and farmers, respecting other people’s interests and privacy, being true to Outfit environmental code of practice, maintaining a professional, clean and tidy office, maintaining a clean, well organised and tidy equipment store, reducing, reusing and recycling our waste.


Motivating others, having fun at work, celebrating success, maintaining opportunities for trying new things, celebrating and sharing in other people’s happiness, a good sense of humour, working together, sharing experiences, smiling, variety.


Understanding that education is a lifelong process, ensuring that there is time for personal development, individual training plans, developing programmes, setting targets and challenges, learning from mistakes, a broad range of opportunities, learning from experience, taking responsibility for ‘our own’ learning, creating the ‘right’ environment for learning, investing in the process, evaluating programmes and courses, developing opportunities, listening to others, passing on ‘our own’ knowledge and experience to others, accepting coaching and coaching others, developing different teaching styles and approaches.

Creativity and Innovation

Creating time to generate ideas, picking up on the ‘small things’, testing ideas, thinking ‘out of the box’, the belief that new ways of doing things keeps us motivated and helps us to work ‘smarter’, enquiring minds, considered opinions, putting new ideas into practice, an enthusiasm for change, a flexible attitude and approach, valuing people’s input to the process.


Positive attitude to work and to people, being on time, doing the right thing (effectiveness), doing the thing right (efficiency), personal discipline, courtesy to others, accepting and giving feedback, working with others, setting clear goals and objectives, maintaining high standard of instruction – leading or guiding even when it gets tough, saying ‘no’ when we know we should, clear and positive communication, willingness to support and work with others.

Posted in Enviroment, Friends, Lectures, Local area and events to see, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views political | Leave a comment

Skye Mountain Accident – the findings

Climbing Guides death in Skye the inquiry a few thoughts .

I love the Island of Skye dearly and have introduced many to the wild and special place. It is to me unique in the hearts of mountaineers in the UK and in winter a place easily comparable with the Alps. In my days as a young party leader in the RAF mountain Rescue  and then the RAF Team leader Skye tested me every time I went out many times with extremely inexperienced companions. Skye involved some of the hardest call outs I have ever been on and the local Skye Team hold my up most respect. To be in Skye on a Call out especially in winter was a wild experience and tested me and many of my companions to the full. If you add in poor weather and snow conditions it can be a very difficult undertaking. I did about 10 winter call outs in Skye in my career and every one was an eye opener. I had my share of epics as you do and in winter this is a place like no other in the UK . The  BBC website carried the following sad summary by the local Sheriff of this  tragedy of an accident in early winter 1972  in Skye in the mountains .
Skye in winter an incredible wild place to be.

Skye in winter an incredible wild place to be.

I have just read the Sheriffs summing up of a tragedy in the Isle of Skye  on December 27  two years ago. This was when a local guide fell whilst guiding a client on the Cullin Mountains. The client with very limited experience managed to get down from very serious winter terrain and summon help. Unfortunately she had no map and it took two days for Rescue teams  to locate the Guide who had unfortunately had  died in the fall.
This is the Sheriffs summing up

A sheriff has suggested that mountain guides require regulation after a fatal accident on Skye in 2012.

His findings are linked to the BBC website and the judgement


Graham Paterson, a 60-year-old experienced guide, fell while leading a client with no previous experience of hillwalking in a Scottish winter.

After several attempts, the woman managed to descend and raise the alarm.

But because she had no map to allow her to give rescuers a grid reference, it was two days after the accident before Mr Paterson’s body was found.

Sheriff Derek Pyle said the incident highlighted the need for guides’ clients to be adequately equipped and be given prior information on where to find a safe route off a hill.

He said guided walking and climbing parties should have more than one person with the know-how and equipment to get safely down off a mountain or hill.

Mr Paterson, from Carbost, Skye, and a guide with 20 years experience, died from his injuries before rescuers could reach him in the Cuillin mountains.

In his newly-published determination,


Sheriff Pyle said he understood the risks walkers and climbers were prepared to take as he was a keen walker himself.

However, he said the badly-injured Mr Paterson was the only person on the day out with the knowledge and the equipment to deal with an accident during the trip.

The sheriff said it was for policy-makers to find a way to regulate mountain guide businesses.

‘Loved his job’

Mr Paterson fell during a walk in Coire na Banachdich on 27 December 2012.

Sheriff Pyle said Mr Paterson’s client, Ildiko Kerek, who was a keen hillwalker from Bristol, would not have survived the night on her own.

A fatal accident inquiry had earlier heard how Ms Kerek had no map or food and endured a difficult descent because she was unfamiliar with the terrain.

When she did eventually manage to raise the alarm she could not give rescuers a grid reference and instead described the terrain where Mr Paterson had fallen.

After searches, the guide was found dead on 29 December.

In his determination, Sheriff Pyle said: “Mr Paterson, I can surmise, loved his job.

“I have no reason to think that he set out with the aim of causing his client to be faced with unnecessary risks.

“I have however concluded that he made errors of judgment. That ought to be the extent of the criticism which he now receives.

“I did not have the benefit of hearing from Mrs Paterson. There is, however, a reference in the papers before me that it is some comfort to her that he died on the mountains he loved.”

The sheriff added: “Whether one ventures or not into the hills of Scotland, it is easy to sympathise with that sentiment. I give my condolences to her and her family for their loss.


There will be various opinions on what happened and even the findings of the Sheriff. We can we all learn from this but please ember that a local guide died and the loss to his family and friends is still very raw. On every accident we should learn from them and I would advise all those who venture into the mountains to read this report.

Skye a wild but magnificent place no matter how experienced you are.

Skye a wild but magnificent place no matter how experienced you are.


Mountain Training UK Briefing Note for its Providers and Association members regarding:

Produced 19/12/14

Fatal Accident Inquiry by Sheriff Principal Derek C W Pyle into the death of Graham Greig Paterson who died in Coire na Banachdich, Cuillin Mountains in late December 2012.

The Fatal Accident Inquiry into the death of Graham Paterson, who died on Coire na Banachdich in December has just concluded. The Sheriff’s determination was given on 4th December 2014 and published here on 15th December.

Mountain Training UK recognises the risks involved in participating in walking, mountaineering and climbing activities and the potentially serious consequences that can result from any accident. Our sincere sympathies go to Mr. Paterson’s wife and family for their loss whilst also acknowledging the harrowing experience of his client.

The Sheriff made two recommendations, which can be summarized as:

  • Ensure that those acting as “mountain guides” are properly qualified and equipped to provide a commercial service for adults.
  • Inform the public of the importance of party members being equipped to deal with the possibility of an accident occurring to the leading member of the party.

The terms ‘Guide’, ‘Instructor’ and ‘Leader’ have specific meaning with regard to mountaineering qualifications. Each one defines a particular range of activities that an individual has demonstrated competence in. Summer and winter are also key words in defining the scope of qualifications with the latter requiring further assessment in a range of additional competences. Mr Paterson had begun the process of registering for the first level of summer qualification for leading in the mountains, the Mountain Leader Award, but he did not hold any qualification issued by Mountain Training. Our qualification system is clearly illustrated here.

Regarding the need for qualification, Mountain Training’s aim is to educate and train people in walking, climbing and mountaineering activities and over a fifty year period we have developed a hierarchy of mountaineering leader and instructor qualifications which we strongly recommend to all those interested in leadership (voluntary or professional) and to those seeking to engage leaders, instructors and guides. Our qualifications are the result of considerable deliberation on the range of skills needed to operate competently and safely in the mountains. Mountain Training’s qualifications are the benchmarks for those who work with the public and are recognised as such by government and across the adventure activity sector.

Our Fifth Edition of the ‘National Guidelines for Climbing and Walking Leaders‘ gives general advice on safety management systems and the operational scope of each qualification. We support the Health and Safety Executive’s view that there are several ways for activity leaders to demonstrate their competence. We believe that our qualifications, the supporting professional associations and their continuing professional development (CPD) processes contribute to a largely self-regulated sector which is generally acknowledged to be “safe”. We have actively contributed to the development of accreditation systems, both statutory (AALA) and sector-led (AAIAC) and expect to launch a further system of ‘Adventuremark’ accreditation for ‘micro-providers’ through our Mountain Training Association in 2015.

Regarding the importance of party members being well equipped, and well informed, the Sheriff’s account of this incident is a salutary reminder to all leaders to consider carefully how much to involve all participants. It has been the custom and practice of our leaders over the last fifty years to work alone, as often as not with a single client, and all to great effect; whether that be achieving a particular objective or intense training in a particular skill. Nevertheless this incident reminds everyone that roles can be reversed and in that case the more informed and better equipped the participants are then the greater the chance of a successful outcome should an accident occur. Similarly, we encourage an incremental introduction to mountaineering with venues and locations being selected to suit the skills, abilities and aspirations of the party and have recently developed accredited Hill and Mountain Skills courses, which provide a good introduction to these skills.

Owen Hayward, Chair. Mountain Training UK

Posted in Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering | Leave a comment

Ideas for Mountaineers and walkers – Christmas Stocking fillers

A great Christmas present for those who venture into the winter hills.

A great Christmas present for those who venture into the winter hills.

Two books worth a read  maybe as a stocking filler. This is a magic book and well worth a read.

Two of Britain’s leading avalanche experts look at the avalanche phenomenon from a variety of perspectives.  Packed full of both technical information and practical advice.

This fully revised and updated edition of the classic handbook, two of Britain’s leading avalanche experts look at the avalanche phenomenon from a variety of perspectives.

Why and how do avanches happen? How can you avoid being caught in an avalanche? What action should you take if caught in an avalanche or witness someone else being avalanched? What are your chances of survival?




I enjoyed this book a great tale of a different way to climb the Munros .

Moonwalker is a unique story, the memoir of a man whose love of Scotland’s mountains would override his body-clock and all conventional notions of health and safety. When Alan Rowan finished his shifts as a sub-editor at a national newspaper at midnight, he knew he was too jacked up on deadline adrenaline to attempt sleep. At the same time, he was starting to worry if he would ever complete his ambition to reach the summit of every Munro in Scotland those peaks of over 3000ft. One crazy night, he decided upon a single solution to both problems. He would begin his ascents in the middle of the night, see the sun rise above the clouds and then come down the mountain just as everyone else was going up. We see Alan’s transformation from desk jockey to midnight mountaineer, meet dodgy car salesmen, rabid sheepdogs, charging deer, superstitious Germans and crooked confectioners – all the while seeing the best of Scotland in a unique light. Moonwalker is funny and touching; at once a deeply personal memoir and a riotous travelogue.




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Old Man of Hoy Visitors Book – left on the summit.

The Old Man Of Hoy Visitors Book

The Old Man Of Hoy Visitors Book

This small visitors visitors book was placed here in memory of Derek “Scotty” Scott who died in April 1991.

During his short life Scotty achieved many things one of them was an ascent of the Old Man Of Hoy , a day which he was to treasure.


For those who visit this place think of how precious life is and what we can achieved if we try together.

The Old Man Of Hoy had a small visitors book  on the summit for many years. It was put there by member’s of the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in memory of a past Team member who sadly died of cancer.  Derek Scott died in 1991 and had climbed the Old man in 1985 with 6 team member’s it was a day he always talked about in his short life. Sadly missed by us all especially his family.

1985 Hoy on the Crux

1985 Hoy on the Crux

The book was pretty battered by the weather but we managed to recover some of it and copied it. I will publish it in a later blog.





Posted in Enviroment, Mountain rescue, Mountaineering, Rock Climbing, Views Mountaineering | 2 Comments

Safely down South – a wild drive!

I managed to arrive safely down South yesterday the drive from Ayr started early and the Murkirk hill road across to the M74 was very icy – I hardly saw a gritter! I normally pass and stop the legend and Liverpool Football Managers ” Bill Shankly “Memorial at Glenbuck but not today. This is a wild place in the winter and was full of coal pits and mines in the past. It bred some of Scotland’s greatest people in this harsh environment and the village where Bill was born is no longer there.

I love the quote below and how such an area produced so many incredible people, I wonder what he would make of the Liverpool Team it now?


Bill Shankly Memorial - Glenbuck

Bill Shankly Memorial – Glenbuck

i stopped to visit the lovely lady who always looked after RAF Mountain Rescue Teams Elma at Crainlarich and was fed lovely bacon rolls and cakes.  Rannoch Moor was terrible the day before and the weather changed every half hour from driving snow to heavy rain and then sunshine 4 seasons in a day! I would ensure you have all the gear in the car , shovel etc and the snow tyres do make a difference but care must be taken.  So many were ill prepared for the journey!

I was glad to see the M74 and it was clear of snow and the car celebrating 200000 miles was going well. It was still very dark and heavy snow filled clouds as I passed the Lake District and the hills were plastered with snow but the road still  clear. I was hit by various showers but soon the daylight came and it was clear motorway driving. I had two stops for a break and to stretch the legs and reached Reading area by 1300. The M6 / M40 was fine but busy and as I got nearer the roads got even busier! There were Red kites and even buzzards in the last few miles as I got off the motorway and I was a day early on my travels. Yvette ( my stepdaughter) was so glad and the kids over the moon that I was here  early.
It was a long way to drive after the operations but to be with Lexi and Ellie was magic. Lexi( aged 4 )gave me a tour of the house and it was a special time! Mum went out to do some things with Ellie get some special photos of Ellie Skye and I watched and sang along to “Frozen” with Lexi! It is going to be some trip and I will like many become a “Frozen expert” again at the end. It was a special moment and I must have drifted of to sleep as Lexi had covered me with a blanket and tucked me in!  The benefits of being a granddad!
The Christmas  tree was up and the new house very special! Dad arrived with some outdoor decorations and we now have Bambi on the house now! Lexi loves it and Ellie Skye just laughs and is in everything ! The house is magic and I love it even Flo the dog is glad to see me as well! I got here safe and this is what Christmas is about a time for the kids to enjoy and grandparents to cherish!
Yvette killed the “fatted calf” for my tea but that is another story and we had a great night. It was a wild journey but worth it these are special times for me and I am enjoying every minute!
So a blog with no hills or mountains.
Lots of snow on these hills so be careful – please!
Posted in Avalanche info, Enviroment, Equipment, Family, Friends, Gear, mountain safety | 1 Comment

End of an Era – The Closure of the The Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre ARCC

The End Of an Era – Closure of the ARCC Kinloss – The Aeronautical Rescue

Co-ordination Centre –

“This Centre exists to assist in the saving of  life through the efficient co-ordination of information and assets” Requests from the Military, Police, Health Authorities and Coastguard it is also the home of the Mission Control Centre.”

From the BBC website – 

The search and rescue co-ordination centre at Kinloss in Moray is to close, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

A total of 27 RAF posts and 10 civilian posts are said to be affected by the relocation to the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham.

The Kinloss centre co-ordinates RAF, Royal Navy and Coastguard search and rescue helicopters, as well as the RAF mountain rescue service. The MoD said there would be no compulsory military redundancies as a result of the closure, and personnel would be assigned to other duties across the UK.

‘Better service’

It said the move to Fareham, between Southampton and Portsmouth on the south coast of England, would improve the UK’s search and rescue services.

A UK government spokesman said: “The relocation of the aeronautical rescue co-ordination centre (ARCC) to the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham will combine the aeronautical and maritime rescue co-ordination functions, resulting in a better service for those in distress.

“The new UK search and rescue service will use brand-new, faster helicopters to cut average response times and provide a more reliable overall service.”


End of an Era.

I heard this today as I drove through the wilds of Rannoch Moor pretty apt really in the snow with the odd blizzard thrown in, that a place dear to my heart was to close. The ARCC at Kinloss in Morayshire has been a huge part of my life since my early days in Mountain Rescue. When I was Team Leader I was regularly awoken in the middle of the night with a call -out from the ARCC . I would be briefed and then off to brief the team. It was an incredible system that was a huge benefit at the Lockerbie Disaster, if we needed it we got it. We got to know the Controllers and really on them throughout the years. There was vast SAR experience behind the team.

I was so lucky to spend my last few years in the military working in the ARCC a place that few knew about. It was how we got our call – outs  and information  and few know of its importance that goes back for many years. It was in the past based at Pitreavie Castle and Plymouth and then moved to Kinloss. I spent my last few years in the RAF as an Assistant Controller and once I mastered the technology (no easy task) it was the most fulfilling job apart from Mountain Rescue I had ever done. We controlled all the Military SAR assets in UK mainly helicopters and also housed the MCC for satellites in the UK. It was a great job helping the other SAR resources all over the UK and beyond and it taught me so much. It opened my eyes to UK SAR and the big picture. The tasks were ever-changing from moving ill babes, organ transplants, and National emergencies all over UK by helicopter and assisted in all aspects of SAR. What a system and a huge learning curb even for me at the time.

The Big Picture!

The Big Picture!

I knew the move would happen and once we lost the military helicopters to the new contract it was the end and an  new National Centre will be a huge change. There as always pros and cons and my views are well known by many in SAR. My big worry as with the Single Police Force is the fear of Centralisation and the loss of local knowledge.

It will be good to have all assets, Police, Ambulance and Contract Helicopters under one control. A constant worry to me was the chance of two helicopter assets being tasked to the same incident and maybe having a collision in poor weather, when communications were poor and there were a few high level discussions in the past about this.  Now the assets should be centrally controlled and maybe better used nationally?

It is very important to still have local knowledge especially in the mountains a map tells you little and area knowledge is critical. What is the best asset to use, do we need a winch and always alert the local Agency/Mountain Rescue Team in case of a problem on every incident. Helicopters cannot do everything contrary to what some people in authority think? Postcodes do not work to find a location in the mountains?

Great days magic memories thanks to all.

Great days magic memories thanks to all.

The ARCC was also there to assist in the Search for military aircraft that go missing mainly  but also the civilian ones. In these days of modern technology this still happens and I have over the 40 years involvement been on many such incidents. Looking for a missing aircraft is not easy just look at the epic this year of the missing Malayan aircraft that disappeared. That will be a key skill that may need worked on with the loss of the Military personnel, especially those with an aircraft back ground?  These are rare skills and hard to teach as they do not happen that often and time must be spent in training in this field. I have several real incidents that did happen where aircraft went missing and it took us several days to find them and I am more than willing to helo if anyone wishes some advice?

My last day at work in the RAF and the ARCC was moving a very ill baby the length of the UK with awaiting a transplant we worked all night and it all went well. It was down to everyone from the Police, helicopters, ambulance, Coastguards  and many others what a job and what satisfaction. We moved the baby for one hospital to another in the dead of night in poor weather and had the organ waiting for the operation . It was great to be a small part of such a great thing.

I wish the new Centre well but a fear that others have is that you cannot run it as a “Call Centre” It  still needs experience in all fields of SAR not easy to find? It will be interesting to see how things go and I am sure that all will work hard to ensure the casualty does not suffer? I am sure the SAR experts behind this will have looked at every aspect of this and wish them the best.

Thanks to all who worked and taught me and this without a doubts gave me a unique view of SAR in the UK in all aspects.

žRescues at Sea,žRescues on land,žMissing Aircraft,žMedical Emergencies.

National emergencies

Thanks to all past and present colleagues! We live in interesting times?

How many lives saved over the years?

Posted in Aircraft incidents, Mountain rescue, Views political, Weather | Leave a comment

Wild weather for my visit South – Avalanche Service starts today

I pick the weather for my journey to see my family in Ayr and the Grand – kids down South. The  wild weather will mean I have to take it easy and will be off this morning and see how it goes- wish me luck? The weather has been crazy and St Kilda was hit by winds of 140 mph – incredible.

Lexi at the Mountaineering Museum

Lexi at the Mountaineering Museum


As the  wild weather and the snow falls and winter returns it is well worth looking in winter at the daily Avalanche reports on the website http://saisncairngorms.blogspot.co.uk/.

We publish daily reports of observed and forecast, avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions at the 5 most popular areas of Scotland during the season. With a continuing pilot period for the Torridon area.

You can find out more about Avalanches or, about Forecasts or, about the SAIS by clicking on the relevant index link on there page.

We keep an archive of all forecasts since 1993 which is browse-able and download-able.

Reporting an avalanche, especially if witnessed,  provides valuable stability information which can be used to help all mountain users with their decision making process and, which also provides essential data for avalanche research. We encourage anyone who sees an avalanche to help the SAIS by Reporting an Avalanche using  there on line form..


One of the avalanche observers Carhy all are  great people . Phpto SAIS WEBSITE

One of the avalanche observers Carhy all are great people . Phpto SAIS WEBSITE

Each of the Five areas has its own report and is such a guide to current conditions. At one time Avalanche information was very complicated now it is a lot more user-friendly and easy understood by even me. Daily reports are carried out by very experienced observers who are on the hill daily to build a forecast for the next days conditions. One must remember that it is still a forecast and things change hourly on the hill. The best tools are your eyes, your ears and your feet. Before you go to an area you build up a history of what is happening wind snowfall etc in the days previously. You listen to what is happening in the weather forecast and look on the internet for information, local guides do daily blogs and they are so informative. On the journey to the cliff or hill you are accessing the changes in snow and the terrain as you walk observing the differences as you reach your destination. Then you make your decisions and if needed have a look at what is under your feet in detail and what has happened in the area previously.

The Avalanche observers do a great job and I wish them and the Mountain Rescue Teams a safe winter.

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