Highlands & Islands

Winter in Scotland's mountains 'has failed to install'

An image posted by SAIS Glencoe on Wednesday Image copyright SAIS Glencoe
Image caption An image posted by SAIS Glencoe on Wednesday

A Scottish Avalanche Information Service team has suggested winter in Scotland's mountains needs to be "switched off and then back on again".

While the mild conditions will be welcomed by many, mountain winter sports enthusiasts are still waiting for decent fall of snow.

In its latest blog post, the SAIS Torridon team suggested winter in the hills had "failed to install".

Every winter, SAIS assesses avalanche risk in six mountain areas.

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

Six avalanches have been recorded by the service so far this season, which started on 14 December and will run until about mid-April.

There were 261 recorded last season and a total of 90 avalanches were recorded in the 2016-17 season - the lowest number in almost 10 years.

However, there were 350 avalanches noted by SAIS in its 2013-14 season.

Image copyright SAIS Torridon
Image caption SAIS Torridon's image of a ptarmigan on Wednesday
Image copyright SAIS Northern Cairngorms
Image caption But there was a covering of snow in the Cairngorms on Wednesday

Climbers, hillwalkers and skiers use SAIS forecasts alongside weather forecasts to help plan trips into Scotland's mountains.

In the tongue-in-cheek blog post, the SAIS Glencoe team said: "It appears that winter has failed to install in Scotland this season.

"Could somebody just switch the weather off and then back on to see if it will work? Please?"

SAIS Torridon's latest blog post includes a photograph of a ptarmigan in its winter plumage against a relatively snow-free landscape in the west Highlands.

Conditions in Scotland's hills, as SAIS and others would say, can of course change quickly.

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