Some basic guidelines

Scottish Mountain Code

Before you go

Plan within the capabilities of your group.
Ensure you possess the essential equipment.
Refer to the relevant guide books.
Learn the use of map and compass.
Know the weather signs and check the forecast.
Know simple first aid and the symptoms of exposure.
Know the mountain distress signals.
Know the Country Code.
Contact landowners during stalking and other critical periods.

When you go

Don't go alone until you've gained sufficient experience.
Leave written word of your intended route, or better still a full Route Card, and report back on your return.
Wear proper footwear.
Take warm, windproof and waterproof clothing.
Take up-to-date Ordnance Survey/Harveys map/maps covering your route, compass, whistle, torch, spare food and a survival bag.
Avoid disturbance to farming and other land management activities.
Be prepared to retreat if weather conditions deteriorate.
Remember that descending at the end of the day is often the most hazardous time.

In winter conditions

Severe winter conditions can occur between November and May. These can be very demanding. Ensure that you are fit and experienced enough to cope with them.

Each person should have an ice-axe and crampons and know how to use them.

Learn how to recognise dangerous snow slopes and formations and how to avoid them.

In the event of accident or emergency

Get to a Rescue Post or telephone, or use a mobile telephone. Dial 999 and ask for Police.

Suggested background reading

The Mountain Skills Training Handbook by Pete Hill and Stuart Johnston (David & Charles, 2000) £18.99.