Joint safety message from the MCofS and BMC 

It will soon be Easter, but it’s still full-on winter in Scotland’s mountains.  That’s the message behind this joint statement from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) and the British Mountaineering Council (BMC).  The MCofS and BMC advise that climbers and hill walkers need to be realistic about the seriousness of the Scottish mountains at this popular time of year, and of the need to match knowledge and experience to mountaineering objectives.  
This Easter warning is being issued because:  
  • Easter in Scotland is popular with groups travelling from further afield  
  • Easter is quite early this year  
  • The current winter conditions could continue through and beyond the Easter weekend.  
Sadly this winter has seen a significant death toll on Scotland’s mountains, many of them related to avalanches.  Avalanche awareness should be a key component of planning a trip to the mountains over the Easter holiday period.  

Our climate is getting more extreme and you have to look no further than the UK last year: the wettest drought on record aswell as various other climate extremes across the globe. So, when we received an email about an info-graphic that has recently been produced to highlight these problems we thought it fit that we share it. You can take a look below: some of the facts are very shocking (its quite big: so you'll have to click read more if you haven't already!).

For the past week heavy rain and high winds have been hitting the UK and it looks like its set to continue. Many weather warnings for heavy rain and flooding have been issued. Lots of homes have been flooded and there have already been fatalities.

If you are planning to go out onto the hills this week here are some tips to ensure you do not become another number on the list of fatalities...

Deal with Bogs

The ground was already saturated before most of the heavy rain started to fall so the heavy rain we have been receiving will make bogs twice as boggy this makes gaiters (love them or not) a must. A good way to see if ground is boggy before walking straight into it is to look for cotton grasses and other bog loving plants. If they are there then the chances are the ground will be boggy.

If you do have to cross bogs keep moving: don't do what I end up doing which is stopping to take a picture then realising you are knee deep in mud. Trekking poles will also help you to keep your balance so you don't fall face first into sludge.
Read on for more

The Scottish police have warned not to depend on phones for navigational purposes after a number of smartphone related rescues.  Read on to make sure your hike doesn't end with a ride in a mountain rescue helicopter due to something so small...

Not. Today we heard the news that (after the wettest summer in 100 years) the polar ice is melting. So what does this mean to us and could it be the cause of the recent amount of rain? The effects could eventually be very dramatic...

Okay so that headline may be slightly over dramatic but, after the recent rainfall that has hit the UK, several Cumbrian rivers are under flood warnings. Just yesterday half of a house in Egremont (Cumbria) collapsed into the River Ehen. For now the heavy rain looks like it will stay away for the next few days. However during the next few 'dry' days there will still be a lot of water flowing down the fells due to the sheer amount of rain that fell. For this reason don't walk on paths that are likely to be boggy and try to avoid river crossings (if there's a bridge then you will obviously be ok).
July is meant to be summer right? Isn't summer meant to be sunny? Well yes but not so far this time. And so far July is looking like a washout. Here are some tips that will keep you safe but will not affect your enjoyment of your adventure...

Snowy Tree
Yes, it is supposed to be warming up but it ain't!
Forecasters have said that May 2012 could be the coldest May in 100 years. This could prove disastrous to amateurs and mountain rescue at the beginning of the hiking season. Read on...