Highlands & Islands

New avalanche reports season starts to little snow

Snow at the top of of Spikes Gully, Aonach Mor Image copyright SAIS Lochaber
Image caption Snow at the top of of Spikes Gully, Aonach Mor, in Lochaber

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has begun its latest season.

However, its teams have so far only encountered snow at higher levels in the six mountain areas checked for avalanche hazards.

The start to SAIS' previous season, 2015/16, also saw mild conditions before later periods of wintry weather and avalanches.

Last winter, a total of 109 people were involved in avalanche incidents.

Three people died following avalanches that occurred in a 10-day period in February.

SAIS also believes that two other fatalities during the winter of 2015/16 may also have involved avalanche activity.

Image copyright SAIS Torridon
Image caption Beinn Eighe in Torridon on Friday

Every winter, SAIS assesses avalanche hazards in Torridon, Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms and Northern Cairngorms.

It provides information on the stability of snowpack on the mountains from December until mid-April.

Hillwalkers and climbers use the SAIS' reports alongside mountain weather forecasts when planning trips into Scotland's hills.

On the first day of the new season, the SAIS Glencoe team described the conditions in its patch as "mild" and "moist".

Image copyright SAIS Glencoe
Image caption The scene in Glen Coe on the first day of SAIS' new season

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