/ Winter in Mid-May

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Jim Fraser - on 11 May 2019

Today, I watched significant numbers of walkers heading for the highest summits in the NW Highlands with bendy summer boots, no crampons and no ice axes. Certainly no avalanche kit. Yet some of these hills were as white as they have been all winter. 

And no, I do not mean the occasional snow patch just hanging on in a high northern corrie. I mean a firm snow-line at around 800m and the upper part of some ascents completely under snow. 

It is expected to be freezing on many major Highland summits tomorrow and snow flurries cannot be ruled out.

But then it gets worse. That's because it is due to get substantially warmer with sunshine and summit temperatures in the mid-teens during the next few days. In a snow-heavy environment, with walkers thinking its time for soft boots and shorts, this may lead to avalanche accidents. 

When that snow softens and starts sliding, the resulting avalanches can be of the most dangerous kind. Wet avalanches are extremely heavy and destructive and tend not to leave air pockets. That means that in such an avalanche there are rarely good outcomes for victims. 

Please be very careful in your choices of route and choices of equipment during the next few weeks. 

Post edited at 23:16
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JimbotheScot on 13 May 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

there was one guy up An Teallach on Saturday in karrimor approach shoes

madness!

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subtle on 13 May 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> Please be very careful in your choices of route and choices of equipment during the next few weeks. 

Ok, thanks Da!

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