Later today the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) gets into gear for the winter season.
Snow has been building on the hills for some time and the SAIS service has been underway for a while in Lochaber and the Northern Cairngorms. Today the first daily reports from all five operational areas will be issued.
SAIS publish daily forecasts of the avalanche, snow, and mountain conditions at five key locations - Glen Coe, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh, Northern Cairngorms and Southern Cairngorms. These are an essential part of any winter hill-goer's armoury, but personal judgement and self reliance are still key. Note the caveat on the SAIS site:
'Avalanche hazard considerations should always be part of any winter hill goers daily plans and we would recommend that climbers, walkers and off-piste skiers currently venturing into the hills continue to note snow and weather conditions in respect of any potential avalanche hazard. Be prepared to modify your plans accordingly.'