Hill walkers across Highland Perthshire are being reminded to stay safe out in the mountains and hills now that Scotland’s travel ban has lifted earlier than expected.
They say at this time of year there can still be dangerous sheets of ice and snow on some of the higher hills surrounding the area.
Mountaineering Scotland’s CEO Stuart Younie said: “The last 12 months have demonstrated how important outdoor recreation is for our physical and mental wellbeing and as things start to ease it will play an important role in our economic recovery,particularly in rural areas.”
With snow still lying on some of the higher hills and temperatures fluctuating, enthusiasts are being encouraged to plan ahead.
That’s because they’re expecting the mountains to be busier than usual and slipper in places.
According to mountaineering Scotland, mornings and north/north-east facing slopes are more dangerous since they’ve had less chance to melt.
Heather Morning, Mountain Safety Advisor for Mountaineering Scotland said: “An ice axe and crampons to cope with any icy stretches really are still essential items of kit at this time of year.
“People should also be conscious that, with limited opportunity to climb in the hills over the last few months, they may have lost some hill-fitness and may well prefer to take on easier walks to begin with so they can ease themselves back into the swing of things.”
It is also important to act in a responsible manner while enjoying access to the hills, especially with the extra pressures due to higher visitor numbers.
Across Perth and Kinross, parking has also been an issue since some people enjoying the outdoors are parking on rural roads.
Now the council have issued rural clearway orders, meaning that cars are not allowed to park selected on banks and rural spots across Highland Perthshire.
“We’ve all been through a stressful few months,” Stuart added. “So we should be considerate of local residents and our fellow visitors, whether that’s by parking considerately, making sure we leave no litter or damage, or just in interacting with others.
“The forecast is good for the weekend and if we all take care and look out for each other we can make sure our long-awaited return to the hills is memorable for all the right reasons.”