Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Walkers warned of snow this May bank holiday

Knoydart peninsula struck by earthquake
Knoydart peninsula struck by earthquake

May Bank Holiday is approaching fast, but the high mountains of Scotland are still hanging onto winter after an unseasonably cold spring.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) and British Mountaineering Council (BMC) are joining forces to recommend hill walkers be prepared to deal with late-lying snow conditions when they head for the Scottish hills this weekend.

This spring has been unseasonably cold, with a northerly airstream and accompanying cold conditions affecting the whole of Scotland, which has resulted in some of the best skiing and winter climbing for several years. It looks like that these conditions will also result in many Scottish mountains holding their snow long into the summer.

While Scottish mountains look stunning at this time of year in their winter garb, late winter conditions can pose a significant challenge to hill walkers and mountaineers, particularly underfoot.

Usually located high up on the shady, northern sides of mountains, late-lying snow patches will often be hard and compacted after frequent melting and refreezing, offering little traction for boots to grip into and a high chance of slipping. Crossing them, especially if the terrain below is steep, requires caution.

Hill walkers are advised to consider a snow-free alternative or simply turn around.

Heather Morning, mountain safety advisor with The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), said: “Every spring thousands of hill walkers enjoy getting back into the hills again. The vast majority have a fantastic experience. But for those who do get into difficulties when encountering old snow patches; sadly a slip and subsequent slide in the wrong place does result in fatalities.”

Walkers planning to head up onto the higher mountains in Scotland should study the mountain weather forecasts in advance.

If temperatures at 900 metres (2953ft) are forecast to be below freezing they would advise hill goers to be prepared with winter equipment.

Carey Davies, the British Mountaineering Council’s hill walking officer, said: “The south of England can have sunny t-shirt weather while the Cairngorms are still in sub-Arctic snow conditions. Even lowland Scotland can be a completely different world to the upper reaches of the Highlands”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]