LISTEN: Stuart Younnie explains how preparation can help hillwalkers – Photo credit: Joyston Judah
As the Summer season draws closer with warmer weekends, Mountaineering Scotland are reminding hill walkers to be weary of snow on top of mountains.
As well as snow, they’re reminding people that some of Highland Perthshire’s more popular routes are becoming more crowded as the season starts up.
Mountaineering Scotland’s CEO, Stuart Younnie, said: “So there’s still a lot of snow patches up high, which people need to be aware of.
“But really it’s just that the normal safety messages that we would encourage people just to make sure I’m planning ahead check the weather forecast is looking better over the weekend and into next week and make sure you’ve got plenty of warm clothes for you despite that weather forecast, because it can still be really cold.
“I was uphill walking on Sunday, just near Killin and it was really very, very cold on the tops. Let’s just definitely keep that extra layer in the bank that you might have.”
For Mr Younnie, a great deal of mountain safety is in the planning and being prepared for bad weather and unexpected accidents to happen.
It’s best to be prepared and to know what to do if something goes wrong, a common misconception is that people phone the ambulance if they get into difficulty when the police are the people to call.
Mr Younnie added: “So, if you phone the emergency number nine, nine, nine, then asked for the police, and then asked for mountain rescue it’s the police that will then make the call on whether they’re going to call the local, maintain rescue teammates to your assistance.”
And it’s important that other people know where you are as well in case you get stuck, one of the best things to do is just to let other people know where you’re going.
As well as that, navigation skills and apps can make the difference in finding hill walkers.
One popular one is the ‘What 3 Words’ app, but Mr Younnie recommends ‘OS Locate’ app which gives a six-figure reference to a devices location.
He said: “You know, it’s the great thing about technology is that, there’s lots more options there. But yeah, we can have the best technology but if your phones not charged and the battery is exhausted, then it’s no use to you at all.
“So that’s the other thing to be able to mind, make sure your phone is charged or maybe take a wee power pack with you.”