SCOTTISH AVALANCHE INFORMATION SERVICE - SPORTSCOTLAND
Avalanches are more common in the hills and mountains of the UK than many people realise and nowhere do they occur more frequently than in the Scottish Highlands. Avalanche hazard considerations should always be part of any winter hill goer’s daily plans. Whether you are a climber, walker or off-piste skier venturing into the hills, you should start the day with a look at the avalanche forecast and from that moment onwards pay attention to the weather and snow conditions and whether these might result in a potential avalanche hazard.
The Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) provides daily forecasts and observations on avalanche, snow and mountain conditions to both individuals and professional organisations throughout the winter season for six of Scotland’s most popular high mountain areas. Established more than 30 years ago, it is now funded by Sport Scotland, the national agency for sport.
Based in the heart of the Cairngorms, the service is co-ordinated by Mark Diggins, an IFMGA mountain guide for more than 25 years, a member of the British Mountain Guides Association and honorary member of the Swedish Mountain Guides Association who in turn is supported by a team of around 12 forecasters across the Highlands. Each forecaster, themselves highly experienced mountaineers and climbers are equipped with technical outdoor clothing and equipment from Mountain Equipment.
The men and women who make up the SAIS forecasting team are in action every day from mid-December until mid-April, not even stopping for Christmas. Covering vast tracts of remote and mountainous terrain, the Scottish highlands with it is farthest regions on the same latitude as Southern Alaska can experience ferocious winter storms and forecasters have to operate often in some of the most savage conditions imaginable. It is the perfect testing and proving ground for our products.
See www.sais.gov.uk for more information and the very latest forecasts and observations.