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Climbers warned over avalanche risk

Posted 3 December 2010
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Climbers warned over avalanche risk
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Those taking their climbing gear with them to the Cairngorms have been warned about the possibility of being avalanched after the recent heavy snow.

People visiting the northern Cairngorms area have been warned by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service that there is a high level of risk.

It stated: "Above 900 metres on many aspects the new snow lies on a very weak layer of facetted, sugar like grains. The avalanche hazard will be high."

There will also be "unstable windslab" areas above 600 metres, the update noted.

Such a warning means those taking their climbing rope and other gear may need to be prepared with survival rations and means of contact in the event of an emergency.

Avalanches can affect even the most experienced climbers, such as Alan Hinkes, the only Briton to climb the 14 peaks in the world over 8,000 metres.

He suffered such a snowfall in the Lake District last winter and subsequently climbed all 39 English historic county tops in just eight days to raise sponsor money for the Mountain Rescue teams who helped him out.