Winter Developments

Winter navigation We’re making plans for winter 2014 before this one is even over! With freezing levels predicted to stay below the summits for a while in Scotland at least it looks like winter will last into May. This means there has been six months of sustained snowy opportunities for all those who enjoy working and playing in winter, with great conditions in many mountains across the UK and Ireland.

Everyone who has worked through this season definitely deserves a bit of sunny rock or green hill as a reward for their phenomenal efforts. In particular congratulations to the 480 candidates doing Winter ML, IML and MIC who worked so hard before and during their courses and to their trainers and assessors who delivered such great content, often in adverse conditions. Our thanks also go to the avalanche observers from SAIS who are now taking a well-earned break. While there have been sustained periods of high avalanche risk this winter SAIS reported on 20th April that overall there had been eighteen human triggered avalanches this season, as opposed to thirty three the previous year, so lots of good decisions were being made by many of you.


George McEwan, the Executive Officer of Mountain Training Scotland (MTS) has written a comprehensive winter review here and also explains how a review of the Winter ML Award has been undertaken. He has collated all the responses to the review so far and has created several documents, which you can download here.
They highlight the proposed options for the MTS Board to consider at their next meeting on the 30th May 2013. To ensure the received comments and suggestions have been accurately reflected MTS invite further and final comment from anyone on these proposals. It is hoped that any revisions will be implemented in time for the 2014 season.

Winter ML

Finally the Snow and Avalanche Foundation for Scotland held a very productive meeting on 20th April to build on work done two years ago and develop core avalanche education messages for next winter. These will be developed over the next few months by key contributors and a leaflet and other resources are likely to be available late this autumn. Mountain Training will seek to ensure that we build on these core messages at ML(W) level and at MIC and IML firstly through the ML(W) review and then through a planned review of MIC for 2014 and also discussions on the implementation of further developments in IML.

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