Spring warning for Scottish hillwalkers

Scottish hillwalkers have been urged not to get caught out this spring by the weather or by late, icey snow in the hills.

A spokeswoman for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland has warned that although the sun has been shining it’s not summer yet in the mountains.

Mountain safety expert Heather Morning said that at this time of year it was really difficult to know what to expect.

“One day on the hill could be warm, dry and calm with good visibility the next you could be in a blizzard.”

She said the important thing was to be prepared and check out the weather forecast in advance to make sure you know what kit to take with you.

“A particular risk lies in the underfoot conditions. The Scottish mountains hold snow long into the spring and early summer. These snow patches will often be hard and located high up on the shady, north side of the mountain,” she said.

She said that many traditional mountain routes crossed through such terrain and were the usual choice for Munro baggers. Hill walkers were advised to treat these old snow patches with caution particularly if there was steep ground below. .

“Route choice at this time of year is really important and hill walkers should consider a snow free alternative or simply turn around,” she added.