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Snow and Avalanche Foundation of Scotland free online tool offers insight into avalanche risks and decision-making in winter mountains


By John Davidson

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Decision making is vital in winter conditions in the mountains.
Decision making is vital in winter conditions in the mountains.

Winter climbers, skiers and hill walkers have a new tool at their disposal to help get to grips with the dangers of avalanches in the Scottish mountains.

The Snow and Avalanche Foundation of Scotland (SAFOS) has launched a new online training course which it says is aimed at "individuals making critical decisions in the winter mountains".

The new initiative has been created with support from Mountain Training Scotland and Glenmore Lodge, Scotland's national outdoor training centre based in the Cairngorms.

The free training course is a digital version of the Be Avalanche Aware planning tool which enables hill walkers, climbers, mountaineers and skiers to be more aware of the avalanche risks and the factors that influence their planning and journey decision making.

Olly Stephenson, chairman of SAFOS, said: “We know that the key to avalanche avoidance lies in the decisions that get made along the way. We are delighted to be able to offer this free online learning tool to support people in their planning and journeys.

"This initiative continues our work from the now established Be Avalanche Aware tool and will further support an area of decision making that needs structure and insight. With the right planning and choices, Scotland’s winter mountains will offer a lifetime of reward.”

SAFOS represent a diverse range of organisations with interests and expertise related to snow and avalanches in Scotland. It is the leading body of its kind within the UK and facilitates unique collaboration opportunities between independent members, outdoor bodies, academic institutions and forecast services.

The online training course can be accessed at https://be-avalanche-aware.teachable.com/p/be-avalanche-aware

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