Highlands and Islands Regional MSP Donald Cameron has said that the recent spate of accidents, including some deaths, in the Scottish mountains is a reminder of the risks of climbing in wintry conditions.
Mr Cameron, who hails from Lochaber, said: “The tragic news of deaths on our mountains remind us that climbing our hills in winter is a completely different proposition from other times of year.
“Snow and ice, and the lack of daylight hours, makes them so much more demanding, requiring skill and experience, and even then they can be highly dangerous.
“Unfortunately, we can sometimes gain the wrong impression from walking through the glens, which may feel quite mild, only to find much lower temperatures once we climb higher up, in conditions resembling the Arctic in their ferocity.
“While our Mountain Rescue Teams do a magnificent job and deserve our sincere thanks, sadly they sometimes end up having to retrieve bodies.
“So please, please only contemplate heading up the hills in winter if you are properly prepared and know what to do if you encounter difficulties.”