Tayside police appeal to hillwalkers

Tayside Police is appealing to hillwalkers to be well equipped, well prepared and well aware of weather conditions if they intend to take to the region’s higher terrains during the winter months.

Autumn has now taken hold and the summer has not been without its challenges for the volunteers who make up the Tayside Police Search and Rescue Unit and the Tayside Mountain Rescue Team.

Most recently they went to the assistance of a climber who was poorly equipped for his outing and neglected to take a compass or a map on his route into the hills of Perth and Kinross.

With temperatures set to drop, weather conditions likely to worsen and memories still fresh of 2010’s harsh winter, hillwalkers must take every precaution to try to ensure that they do not put themselves or anyone else in peril.

Even in fine autumn/winter weather, anyone venturing out into the hills must be aware of the changeable weather conditions and ensure they have the necessary skills to cope and be safe.

In the past year Tayside Police Search and Rescue Unit and the Tayside Mountain Rescue Team, supported by other partners, have responded to dozens of incidents in the region.

In too many instances, it is apparent that a lack of preparation, complacency, or inexperience that has led people into difficulty.

Tayside Police urges hill users to heed the following advice: Be prepared and aware of the weather forecast, avalanche risk and the often unpredictable extremes of weather that affect Tayside. Be equipped and have sufficient and appropriate basic equipment. Tell a relative or friend where you are going and your expected time of return.

Have the necessary skills - Invest time in learning hill-craft and navigation skills. Anyone equipped with a GPS, should also carry a map and compass of the area as your primary navigation tool – and be able to use them.

Enjoy the experience – The hills and mountainous are there to be enjoyed, but anyone embarking on a hill walk or climb must do so in such a way that they do not jeopardise their safety or the safety of others.