Highlands & Islands

Hillwalkers urged to make repeated checks of forecasts

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Media captionMountain walkers take safety courses

Hillwalkers and climbers have been advised to gather as much information as possible on weather and avalanche forecasts when planning trips.

Jon Jones, head of mountaineering at the Glenmore Lodge national outdoor training centre, said the forecasts should be checked on the day too.

His advice comes amid "full on" Scottish winter conditions in the hills and mountain in recent weeks.

More wintry weather has been forecast for Saturday.

The Met Office has issued a yellow "be aware" warning of snow and ice.

The avalanche risk in the six areas - Lochaber, Glen Coe, Northern and Southern Cairngorms, Creag Meagaidh and Torridon - monitored by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has also been rated "considerable" over the past few days.

Image caption Walkers doing Glenmore Lodge-led winter skills training in the Cairngorms earlier this week

Almost 70 avalanches have been recorded in the service's latest season, which started in December and ends in April. There were 90 for the whole of its 2016-17 season.

SAIS' Southern Cairngorms team has also reported winds gusting to 100mph this week.

Cairngorms-based Glenmore Lodge instructor Mr Jones said: "In the days leading up to what you want to do get as much information as you can about the conditions to help you make a sound judgement.

"Don't decide on one route several days before and then stick to that plan.

"You need to have several options and then choose which of those options is best with the weather on the ground at the time."

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