Hillwalkers urged to stay safe on the mountains

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Hillwalkers are being urged to to take precautions to stay safe in the mountains this summer.

Police and mountain rescue teams have responded to several incidents in in the Highlands over the past week and are now urging walkers to be prepared before setting out.

Five search and rescue operations have been carried out on mountains in the Highlands since Monday July 10.

Fortunately, none involved anyone suffering serious injuries.

Police and partner agencies are now encouraging walkers to plan their routes and make sure they leave details of where they expect to go and an expected return time.

Walkers should make sure they are well equipped for the environment with appropriate clothing and footwear, while they also carry navigational equipment and a means of communicating if they do get into difficulty.

Inspector Mike Middlehurst said: ‘Police Scotland works with the volunteer mountain rescue teams in Scotland to provide a world class service any time and in any weather.

‘However, attempts to help people in difficulty can be made more difficult if they haven’t left details of where they are going or if they are under-prepared for the environment they are travelling into.’

David Gibson, chief executive officer of Mountaineering Scotland, said: ‘It’s the middle of July and relatively mild at glen level, but a Scottish summer can bring frequent combinations of wind, cloud and rain at Munro height.

‘This can turn a pleasant summer walk into a strength-sapping, navigational challenge for even the most experienced hillwalker.

‘Enjoy Scotland’s fantastic mountains but plan your route with the weather forecast and wind direction in mind, have adequate and waterproof clothing, and ensure you are not solely reliant on electronic means of navigation and take a map and compass.’