Mountain-goers 'must be experienced and prepared'

People heading up on mountains in the coming months must ensure they are properly prepared, a mountain safety expert has said.

Speaking in Grough Magazine, Mountaineering Council of Scotland representative Heather Morning said that it is not good enough for people to have bought the right equipment – they must also know how to use this gear.

While some people heading to Scotland’s mountains may be hill walkers, the winter experience of hiking through this terrain will be mountaineering, she said, noting this involves a higher level of experience and skill, as well as additional skills.

Many accidents in mountains over winter are just simple trips and slips, Ms Morning said. She said while tools such as crampons can prevent these accidents from happening, they may cause a slip or trip if used improperly.

Furthermore, ice axes could potentially save someone’s life during a fall, but could cause potentially lethal injuries if people do not know how to use them.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said that some of the important skills people need to develop before going up Scottish mountains over winter include awareness of avalanches and navigation during poor visibility.

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