Full Scottish avalanche warning service to launch

Image caption, Mountain instructor Di Gilbert will give lectures on safety later this winter

Daily avalanche hazard forecasts for five mountain locations in Scotland will resume from Thursday.

The Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) covers Lochaber, Glencoe, Creag Meagaidh, south and north Cairngorms.

Because of heavy snowfalls, weekend reports for Lochaber and northern Cairngorms started in November.

The forecasts usually run until April. Co-ordinator Mark Diggins said last winter saw significant avalanches.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) has also announced its winter safety lecture series.

Twenty-one free lectures will be presented by 12 speakers at six venues in January, February and March next year.

Speakers will include mountain rescue team veteran David "Heavy" Whalley, mountain safety officer Roger Wild, instructor Di Gilbert and climber and writer Cameron McNeish.

MCofS mountain safety adviser Heather Morning said: "All of our speakers have spent many years in the mountains and will draw on their own experience to illustrate hard lessons learnt."

Chief officer David Gibson added: "Whilst these lectures entertain, they have a serious purpose; the number of mountaineering incidents is increasing due to more people enjoying the hills in varying and testing conditions.

"Our aim is to offer expert advice - and so help people enjoy the hills with a better understanding of how to tackle winter conditions - advice that one day could be invaluable."

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