By esteban m
Scottish climbing expert Heather Morning says that being male and not being able to put your mobile phone away are some of the critical risks in the Scottish mountains. Apart from that, not taking into account the avalanche forecast can also end in grace.
Morning, the head instructor at Glenmore Lodge, urged visiting climbers to “think winter” during the spring. Police Scotland say seven people have died in the hills in February alone, while mountain rescues have risen by 40% recently. In addition, there is an increase in climbers who misunderstand the treacherous conditions of the summits.
Morning noted: “In March, we have longer daylight hours, and down here in the valley, it feels like summer. People are not convinced of the fact that you might still need an ice ax and crampons at heights.”
Weather conditions in the Cairngorms have become dangerous due to the warmer days and freezing nights. With this, the meltwater easily turns into hard ice at night. Morning revealed that men are mostly the victims of the Scottish Highland deaths. He added that men over 60 are the group that most fall into difficulties.
Morning previously worked as a Mountain Safety Advisor with Mountaineering Scotland. During that period, she analyzed data spanning 70 years to 2019 and found that of 114 deaths, only 10 were women. She said: “Considering masculine and feminine attributes related to risk taking, men tend to overestimate their ability. They don’t think they need formal skills training, whereas the ladies tend to lean the other way.”
According to her, women are mostly less confident in their abilities and more willing to take courses such as sailing courses. She said that most climbers, especially men, believe that the navigation course is irrelevant, but critical to ensuring a safe climb. “Basic navigational error of putting people in the wrong place,” she noted.
Morning said most young people assume that having an app on their phone is enough for proper navigation. This, she says, makes it more difficult to educate those people on why to use outdoor resources like a compass.