Following a trial over winter 2013-14, the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service will again be issuing avalanche risk forecasts for the Torridon area in the upcoming winter season.
Last year's pilot was a skeleton service, coming out only for a limited number of weekends between December and February. In their newly released annual report for last season, the SAIS say this year's Torridon service will be more regular, with 'hazard forecast provision during peak holiday periods and every weekend throughout the winter'.
"[We] are grateful for the cooperation from SNH who will be supporting us with base facilities at Kinlochewe" they go on.
While the SAIS has traditionally given detailed daily avalanche forecasts for five main climbing areas further south and east (Glen Coe, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh, Northern Cairngorms and Southern Cairngorms) last year was the first time that the service was extended north of the Great Glen, where conditions can often be very different. As a defined area with a lot of winter climbing and walking,Torridon was the obvious location in the northwest.
Especially considering the unusual pattern of storms and heavy snowfall last winter, the report makes interesting reading (see pdf here).
The numbers using SAIS reports seem to be on the rise. Between December 2013 and February 2014 Avalanche Reports were viewed online 450,684 times, up from 384,556 in 2012-13. And last season the forecasters' area blogs had 516,303 views, a big increase from 396,136 in 2012-13.