Highlands & Islands

Man in shorts and deck shoes 'at risk of avalanche'

Men looking at avalanche debris Image copyright SAIS Creag Meagaidh
Image caption Two men - one wearing shorts and deck shoes and the other jeans - inspect avalanche debris

Two men have been criticised for visiting the scene of an avalanche while one was dressed in shorts and deck shoes and the other in jeans.

The men stopped to look at the debris on Creag Meagaidh while there was a potential risk of a further snow slide.

A Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service forecaster said two snowsports enthusiasts had also put themselves at risk on the Munro.

Like the other pair, he said they appeared unaware of the hazard.

In February on Creag Meagaidh, an avalanche of a scale big enough to bury a car was recorded.

Warm weather at the weekend and this week has raised the risk of more slides on the mountain, SAIS has said.

The SAIS forecaster first spotted the two split boarders in Coire Chriochairein and then other two men in the Inner Coire on Tuesday.

In a blog, the forecaster said both groups had been at risk of a collapse of large overhanging areas of snow known as cornices.

He said of the split boarders: "I genuinely believe these two guys weren't aware of the cornice hazard. It's too nice a day for bad things to happen."

On the other pair the forecaster said: "Different demographic, same deal.

Image copyright SAIS Creag Meagaidh
Image caption Arrows drawn by the SAIS forecaster indicate the source of the avalanche and a large cornice

"Passed two young guys - one in shorts, deck shoes and a hoody (I kid you not…), the other better clad but with denims on - working their way up to have an up-close-and-personal look at the very large pile of very recent cornice debris in the Inner Coire."

He said the good weather, ease of access to the Munro from a car park and the Easter holidays had drawn "un-mountain savvy tourists" to the hills.

In the run up to the Easter weekend, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland sent out a strongly worded message urging people without the appropriate equipment and knowledge of winter conditions to stay away from Scotland's highest mountains.

The snow slide at Coire Ardair near Creag Meagaidh in February was described as "a full depth size three event".

Avalanches are measured on an international scale of one to five. Size five slides are big enough to destroy a village or large forest.

SAIS said a size three slide at the location was uncommon.

The following month the largest avalanche recorded by the service so far this season was discovered in the Southern Cairngorms.

A member of staff at Glenshee Ski Centre alerted SAIS to the slide on Glas Tulaichean, a 3,448ft (1,051m) Munro.

SAIS Southern Cairngorms said the full depth avalanche was filled with mud, rocks and large blocks of snow.

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