Highlands & Islands

Glencoe to open avalanche transceiver training park

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Media captionThe BBC's Craig Anderson talks to Keith Hill at the transceiver training park

An area of a ski centre is to be made available for training in the use of a device designed to help find people caught in a snow slide.

Glencoe's avalanche transceiver training park opens on Saturday.

The resort said the move followed an increase in the numbers of climbers, skiers and snowboarders choosing to wear the devices.

Last year, the Scottish Avalanche Information Services reported more and larger slides than previously seen.

The new park has nine buried transmitters to help users practise in how to operate the transceivers.

Most people buying the equipment are believed to be climbers and snow sports enthusiasts who venture into remoter parts of Scotland's hills to climb or ski.

Scotland's skiing season started early this winter. Glencoe Mountain opened before Christmas for the first time in 10 years.

The range in which the resort lies is one of five covered by Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service forecasts.

Image caption Some skiers choosing to go off-piste are wearing the gadget

Two periods of last winter - around Christmas and in the weeks of late February and beginning of March - saw the most avalanche activity and coincided with the deaths of five people.

As well as the fatal accidents, there were close calls.

Two skiers from the Edinburgh area survived being swept 2,000ft (610m) down a mountain by an avalanche in Glencoe in February last year.

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