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Every year, on Tuesday nights throughout the month of February, you’ll find a gathering of climbers, skiers and hill-goers gathered in the Boots Bar at the Clachaig Inn, right in the heart of Glencoe.
The series of Clachaig Winter Mountain Safety Lectures has run every year since 1985, and is intended to provide a last-minute reminder of some of the preparations and skills to have to hand before venturing into the Scottish winter hills.
The lectures were initially set up by then landlord Peter Daynes in conjunction with Andy Fanshawe who was National Officer at the BMC.
It was seen as an important measure to try and improve mountain safety, especially as many people were arriving in the glen having travelled long distances.
With people keen to go out come what may, and without any immediate knowledge of local conditions (no social media back then!), the lectures were a great way to get key messages across.
One of the underlying principles was that they must be delivered free at the point of delivery. The lecture series is still just as important today even in this age of technology, nothing beats good local knowledge.
Since the year 2000 Clachaig Inn has raised over £26,000,with £13,500 of that coming in the last six years when it really stepped up its efforts with the ‘big winter raffle’, with prizes kindly donated from the Clachaig’s suppliers.
This money has predominately been donated to the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team however it has also gone to the Glencoe Avalanche Transceiver Park and multiple local community-based projects including local defibrillators in South Lochaber.
In 2020 Rab Equipment is once again sponsoring the Lecture Series now in its 35th year, supported on the night by Nevisport which will be showing off the Rab Equipment it stocks.
There are four very knowledgeable local lectures lined up. Matt Groves MIC, a current lecturer at West Highland College, who is going to cover situational awareness in the winter mountains; Rich Bentley MIC, who is going to talk about how to plan your winter adventure in the Scottish mountains; Andy Spink MIC, will be going over the critical points in decision making when on the hill. Last but not least, Graham Moss WML and Lead Forecaster for SAIS Lochaber, will be covering, you guessed it. avalanche safety.
A fantastic line up and definitely not to be missed and remember it is free thanks to sponsors Rab Equipment so come along enjoy a refreshing beverage or two and listen to some very knowledgeable lecturers.