Mountaineering experts have launched a campaign to ensure that people heading for Scotland’s winter hills and mountains have easy access to the right information.
The #ThinkWINTER initiative brings together the advice and tips from leading mountain skills and safety organisations.
The campaign covers winter hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking and ski/snowboard touring in Scotland.
The joint venture between Mountaineering Scotland, Scottish Mountain Rescue, Glenmore Lodge, Mountain Training Scotland, Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland and Snowsport Scotland, aims to provide a trusted and reliable source that everyone can access for free.
Safety advice for the winter mountains
Throughout the winter, information, advice and tips will be shared through social media posts using the hashtag #ThinkWINTER, as well as on the websites of the supporting organisations and through talks and online events.
Stuart Younie, Chief Executive Officer of Mountaineering Scotland, underlined that it is not always easy for outdoors enthusiasts to access the correct information when planning a winter mountain or hill trip.
He said: “With so much information now available online and on social media, we want to make sure people know how to access reliable and up-to-date information to help them keep safe and enjoy their winter adventures.
“We are delighted to be working together with a range of organisations, professional instructors, safety experts and mountain rescuers to ensure we are providing advice that is relevant, useful and, above all, trustworthy.”
#ThinkWINTER How to call for help if needed
The #ThinkWINTER campaign aims to provide information to help people be self-sufficient in the mountains and avoid the need for help from volunteer mountain rescue teams.
However, the organisations involved also want to make sure people know how to call for help and what to do in the event that things do go wrong.
Damon Powell, Chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, the umbrella organisation for most mountain rescue teams in Scotland, said: “Spending time in our mountains and wild places across Scotland has become more important than ever, whether you are new to the hills or an experienced mountaineer.
“If you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy Scotland’s mountains, when many would say they are at their finest, we would urge you to #ThinkWINTER and ensure you are suitably equipped, with the necessary skills, to enjoy our incredible outdoors safely and thereby support our volunteer teams who will assist you any hour, any day and any weather.
“And remember, if you are lost, injured and in need of assistance or in an emergency, dial 999 ask for POLICE then MOUNTAIN RESCUE.”
Where to find trusted winter mountain advice
Trusted information sources for winter mountaineering:
Skills courses and training:
Avalanche and weather information:
Information about Mountain Rescue:
Information about Mountain Biking:
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Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.