Highlands & Islands

Date set for Scotland's new avalanche forecast season

Deep drifts in Southern Cairngorms Image copyright Paul Noble/SAIS Southern Cairngorms
Image caption Deep snow drifts in the Southern Cairngorms last winter

The new Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) season is to start on 13 December.

Every winter, SAIS assesses avalanche hazards and provides daily information on the stability of snowpack in the six mountain areas.

The areas are Lochaber, Glen Coe, Creag Meagaidh, Southern Cairngorms, Northern Cairngorms and Torridon.

Last season saw the deaths of three climbers after an avalanche in a gully on Ben Nevis in March.

Two Frenchmen and a climber from Switzerland died.

Another climber from Switzerland was the sole survivor of the slide in Number 5 Gully on the mountain, near Fort William.

Avalanches can occur naturally, be triggered accidentally by people, or be caused deliberately to remove an avalanche risk in ski areas.

Hillwalkers, climbers and skiers use SAIS information alongside weather forecasts to help them plan trips.

The SAIS season usually runs until mid-April.

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