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Take a torch to the hills this weekend

© Paul Diffley

Mountaineering Scotland is urging hill goers to prepare for the clocks going back this weekend. They are asking every person in the hills to pack a headtorch - and a spare - as British summertime comes to an end.

Navigating off the hill in darkness. Headtorches are an essential piece of kit.   © Paul Diffley
Navigating off the hill in darkness. Headtorches are an essential piece of kit.
© Paul Diffley

Mountain rescue teams up and down the country have already responded to incidents this year where walkers have been benighted and realised they could not get themselves off the hill.

Shorter daylight hours also mean a drop in temperatures and many hills will start to see snow, meaning hillwalkers should review what they carry in their packs. Extra layers will be essential, particularly a synthetic duvet jacket, hats, gloves, face protection and an emergency shelter for any length of time spent stationary.

Heather Morning, the Mountain Safety Advisor with Mountaineering Scotland said: "It has been good to see so many new people enjoying Scotland's mountains this summer, and we hope they will continue to enjoy the great benefits that access to the outdoors brings. It's important to stay safe though.

"People will have already noticed the days getting shorter, but this is really emphasised once the clocks change, and the chances are now much greater that you may end your walk in darkness."

Heather also reinforced that it was a good time for climbers and hillwalkers to brush up on any skills or consider whether they could benefit from extra training, for instance, navigating in poor visibility is a skill definitely worth having.

Kevin Mitchell, vice-chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue said: "We would encourage hill goers to be proficient in navigation, check weather reports and be aware of when darkness will fall.

"However if they become benighted or injured they should not hesitate to call out Scottish Mountain Rescue volunteer teams by calling 999 and asking for Police, then Mountain Rescue. Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."

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