New Survey Examines Mountain Accidents

© Steve Penny, Wellbeing Officer, Scottish Mountain Rescue

A survey has been launched which it is hoped will give organisations interested in safety in the hills more insight into the causes of accidents. The information could be used to help better inform the hillgoing public about safety, perhaps ultimately reducing the number of incidents and taking some pressure from Mountain Rescue Teams across the UK and Ireland.

Knowing more about the background to incidents may ultimately help reduce pressure on MRTs  © Steve Penny, Wellbeing Officer, Scottish Mountain Rescue
Knowing more about the background to incidents may ultimately help reduce pressure on MRTs
© Steve Penny, Wellbeing Officer, Scottish Mountain Rescue

The survey created by Mountaineering Scotland, with the support of partners in the Mountain Safety Group, is open to anyone in the UK or Ireland who has had an accident in the hills themselves, or who has helped someone else after an accident.

"Getting a better insight into the drivers behind mountain accidents will be a game changer" said Ross Cadie, Senior Mountain Safety Advisor at Mountaineering Scotland.

"Being able to recognise and then understand any patterns of behaviour will help us tailor our safety messaging and deliver better courses that will help to prevent accidents and save lives in the mountains."

While Mountain Rescue Teams and the Police collect information about the number and nature of rescues they attend, this only covers what happened after the incident took place, not what caused it, or what the individual might have learned from the experience.

By adding their accounts to the survey, people can help organisations interested in training and educating those who spend time in the mountains, as well as rescue teams.

Inspector Matt Smith, Police Scotland lead for Mountain Rescue said: "Preventative work to reduce accidents is a priority for us. Learning exactly why they take place will help us focus our work to reduce demand on volunteer mountain rescue teams and ultimately, help keep people safe."

The Mountain Safety Group comprises: Police Scotland; British Mountaineering Council; Ramblers Scotland; Snow Sports Scotland; Association of Mountaineering Instructors; British Mountain Guides; Scottish Mountain Rescue; Scottish Cycling; Scottish Athletics and Scottish Hill Runners; Met Office; Scottish Avalanche Information Service; Glenmore Lodge; Mountain Training; and the Mountain Weather Information Service.

The survey can be completed here, and individuals can complete multiple surveys if they've been involved in more than once incident.


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29 Nov, 2023

Great initiative. I'm always struck by the shear numbers of people getting out into the hills nowadays. It's encouraging that more people are valuing the space but also seems like the odds are upped for accidents to happen. I've had to call MR 250 m from the main road before. Family walks!! Turns out they need planning too, particularly when age range is 6 to 66...

30 Nov, 2023

Glad this survey is happening. After the incident I was involved with in 2018 I was shocked there was nothing like this to report to. It has actually been a weight off my shoulders to fill it in. This is great work- thank you to all involved.

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