Police, mountain rescue teams and the coastguard yesterday issued a joint plea to walkers and climbers to inform someone about their intended routes.
The emergency services said they were “increasingly challenged by searches for people leaving minimal or no information.”
Lochaber and Cairngorm mountain rescue teams answered seven call-outs in the first few days of 2017 including one involving a fatal incident.
Father-of-four Mark Bowling, 52, from Burnley, Lancashire, died in a fall while descending 4,049ft Aonach Beag in Lochaber.
Winter sport enthusiasts are being urged not to put themselves at unnecessary risk – and to tell a relative or friend of their intentions before venturing out.
Superintendent Colin Gough said: “At this time of year, people rightly come to the Scottish mountains in search of the excellent winter sports and mountaineering challenges available.
“However, our mountains should not be underestimated as they can be unforgiving for even the most experienced.
“Severe weather conditions forecast in the coming days could change your environment within minutes and navigation could become difficult. White-out conditions could also make paths and tracks dangerously impassable.”