Avalanche education seminar at Glenmore Lodge
Safety on the mountains was top of the agenda at a special seminar held at the sportscotland national training centre Glenmore Lodge on April 20. Organised by the Snow and Avalanche Foundation for Scotland (SAFOS) with assistance from the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service, attendees travelled from all over the UK to take stock of the current state of avalanche education in the UK and look at the potential for future developments. The focus was on getting the basic principles of safe travel in the mountains in winter across to mountain users in a clear and succinct way. A total of 18 human triggered avalanches were recorded this season by the SAIS, which, although fewer in number than in previous years, resulted in the tragic loss of eight lives.
The seminar was attended by representatives from across the mountaineering sector – including Scottish Mountain Rescue, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the British Mountaineering Council, British Mountain Guides, Association of Mountaineering Instructors, British Association of Ski Patrollers, Mountain Training UK, Mountain Training Scotland, Glenmore Lodge and Play y Brenin (the national mountaineering centres of Scotland and England and Wales respectively), and the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS).
The meeting continued to build on work initiated at a seminar on decision making in avalanche terrain held in autumn 2011. Work will now continue to develop core avalanche education messages next winter. These will be developed over the next few months by key contributors and a leaflet and other resources are planned to be available in autumn 2013.