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Winter talks from Mountain Aid

The first snows have already fallen in the Cairngorms and temperatures are falling. Winter is well on its way but are you prepared for it? Do you feel confident about heading out to the hills in conditions of snow and ice?

Mountain Aid want to be sure you are ready to face the set of challenges that Scottish mountains pose in winter. And to help you the charity, which exists to promote mountain safety and raise money to help mountain rescue in Scotland, is organising a week of talks entitled Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

The speaker is an old pal of mine - the inimitable Mick Tighe, who not only is a qualified mountain guide of long standing, but was for many years, the Training Officer for Scottish Mountain Rescue.

The talks are aimed at those who are used to summer hill walking and want to continue to enjoy Scottish mountains in winter conditions.

Mick’s talks have many illustrations of the splendours of the hills in winter, but also include some of the more gruesome incidents in which he has been involved and the chance to learn lessons from these.

Each evening, which is usually about 90 minutes long, will end with a Question & Answer session, a situation in which Mick revels, as it gives him the opportunity to draw on a vast collection of amusing anecdotes to help get his message across.

The 2015 programme for “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” is set out below:-

Monday 16 November : Edinburgh’s Merlin in Morningside,

EH10 4PU at 7.30pm

Tuesday 17 November : Room A5 Cottrell Building in Stirling University,

FK9 4LA at 7.00pm

Wednesday 18 November : Dalhousie Lecture Theatre 2 in Dundee University,

DD1 4HN at 7.30pm

Thursday 19 November : Room D141 in University of West of Scotland – Paisley

PA1 2BE at 7.30pm

If you have attended one of Mick’s talks in previous years, this is the chance to tell your hill walking friends and come along with them, to experience an evening which is both educational and entertaining. As a charity, Mountain Aid’s funds are devoted to ensure that the evening is FREE. Indeed what you learn on the night could well have a profound effect on your future enjoyment of the hills.

Leading on from our talks in November, Mountain Aid are organising a series of Practical Winter Skills Courses at weekends in January & February of next year in Cairngorms and/or Nevis Range. Those attending will receive basic training and practical tips on using ice axes, fitting crampons to boots and on other equipment vital in winter.

As yet details have not been finalised, but Mountain Aid hopes to have dates available and take bookings at the above Talks in November. Again, these one day courses, which are run by a fully qualified Mountain Instructor are essentially FREE in accordance with our ethos as a charity. They will be available to 24 of our supporters on a “First Come / First Served” basis, so try not to miss out on this unique opportunity.

Any training provided on Winter Skills, and over the past year on Navigation, is both brief and basic. Mountain Aid would urge those who found the courses beneficial to consider the advantages of the more comprehensive training, and indeed qualifications, offered by organisations such as and Glenmore Lodge.

Many thanks to Alex Slimon of Mountain Aid for the above information.

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