Fewest avalanches recorded in almost 10 years
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) has wound up its latest forecasting season with its lowest number of recorded avalanches in almost 10 years.
There were 83 avalanches between December last year and this month, according to the service's initial figures. It will provide an official tally in an annual report later this year.
Last season, there were 207 avalanches and 305 in 2014-15, 350 in 2013-14, 129 in 2012-13, 154 in 2011-12, 178 in 2010-11 and 220 in 2009-10.
The snow slides that are recorded occur naturally - often after a cornice, snow overhanging a slope or cliff, collapses - or have been triggered by walkers and climbers accidentally or deliberately by ski patrols to make an area used for snowsports safe.
SAIS assesses for the risk of avalanches in six areas: Lochaber, Glen Coe, Northern Cairngorms, Southern Cairngorms, Creag Meagaidh and Torridon.
This winter and spring, conditions have included periods of freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls but also mild weather and high winds, which strip snow from hillsides.
SAIS has just announced the winding up of its latest season.
However, it said: "We will continue to monitor weather and snow conditions leading up to and during the Easter holidays.
"Mountain information will continue to be provided on the SAIS blogs for the next period and for the Easter weekends.
"We recommend that mountain-goers venturing into the hills continue to observe weather forecasts prior to their excursions, and visual observations of conditions during their trip.
"This information is important in making good plans and allowing for flexible decision-making when in the mountains and hills."
It warned that late spring snow falls could still occur and cause a hazard high up in the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.
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