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'Considerable' avalanche risk on Highland mountains, as warning level raised


By Philip Murray

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The scene of the naturally-triggered avalanche in the Cairngorms on Tuesday morning. Picture: SAIS.
The scene of the naturally-triggered avalanche in the Cairngorms on Tuesday morning. Picture: SAIS.

Avalanche risks on Highland peaks are "considerable", mountain-goers have been warned in the wake of heavy snowfall.

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) raised the alert status to "considerable" yesterday, amid concerns that even the weight of a single person is "likely to trigger" avalanches on steep slopes.

It comes after an avalanche was reported in the Cairngorms to the east of Cairngorm Mountain resort at 11.30am on Tuesday.

On that occasion the avalanche is believed to have occurred naturally, and involved "very heavy windslab".

Describing the current risk level a spokesperson said: "Natural avalanches may occur, in some cases large, in isolated cases very large are possible.

"A single person load is likely to trigger an avalanche on some seep slopes.

"Good hazard evaluation, visibility and route selection is important, especially in steep locations.

"Careful group management and good spacing is vital. Use mountain features (ridges and scoured slopes etc) to travel safely".

The heightened avalanche warning applies to all of the mountainous areas monitored by the SAIS. These include the Torridon alert area, northern Cairngorms, southern Cairngorms, Lochaber, Glencoe and Creag Meagaidh.

For the latest information visit www.sais.gov.uk.


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