THIS IS A JOINT PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MOUNTAINEERING COUNCIL OF SCOTLAND AND THE AN TEALLACH MOUNTAINEERING CLUB RELATING TO THE TRAGIC AVALANCHE ON BUACHAILLE ETIVE MOR ON SATURDAY 24TH JANUARY.
Speaking on behalf of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), David Gibson, Chief Officer said: ‘MCofS offers its condolences to the families and friends of those involved in the incident, who were all members of the An Teallach Mountaineering Club (ATMC). Our thoughts and best wishes are also with the officers and members of the ATMC at this difficult time.’
Speaking on behalf of ATMC, a spokesperson said: ‘The members of the ATMC are very saddened by this terrible accident and the loss of our friends Eamonn, John and Brian. Our thoughts are first and foremost with their families and all other friends at this difficult time to whom we offer our sincere condolences.’
‘All three men had been members of the club for many years and were experienced mountaineers. They were all great guys, good company and were wonderful supporters of the club. They had a love of the mountains and their sense of fun and friendship made a significant contribution to the life of the club. They had attended club events all over Scotland.’
‘John and Eamonn had made regular trips with the club to the Dolomites in Italy. Their loss is a great blow to this small club and they will all be sorely missed and remembered with a great deal of affection by all in the club. The members would also like to thank the fantastic efforts of the mountain rescue teams, helicopter crews, police and everyone else involved in Saturday’s events.’
David Gibson of the MCofS said: ‘ATMC is an active club with a 20-year history of climbing and mountaineering across Europe, and although small in numbers, a very sociable club, and one that has contributed much to Scottish mountaineering and the MCofS.’
‘This was the most serious Scottish avalanche incident in recent years and is a blunt reminder of the fickle nature of Scotland's snow and avalanche conditions. Mountaineering and climbing are activities with a risk of injury or death and avalanches are one of the hazards that may be encountered on the hills. However, it is important to recognise that thousands of people were out on the Scottish hills on Saturday and that the vast majority had a safe and enjoyable day.’
‘Mountaineers and climbers develop self reliance through experience. It is essential that individual experience is further informed about avalanche and weather conditions through the specialist information and advice which is updated daily and freely available to all’.
Information and advice about avalanche and weather conditions is available through the following websites:
sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) - www.sais.gov.uk
SAIS publishes reports for five main areas of Scotland every day throughout the winter season.
The Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) - www.mwis.org.uk
The prevailing weather is integral to avalanche awareness and the service publishes daily forecasts for five mountain areas of Scotland, available from 16.00 daily, 365 days a year.
MCofS Mountain Safety information www.mcofs.org.uk/mountain-safety.asp
MCofS delivers a wide ranging and comprehensive programme of mountain safety events which include information and advice about avalanche awareness. These initiatives include avalanche awareness courses, evening lectures throughout Scotland, an avalanche aide-memoir card and a safety DVD entitled "Winter Essentials" which has a chapter on avalanche awareness.
Further information: The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) represents, supports and promotes Scottish mountaineering and is the only recognised representative organisation for mountain walkers and climbers who live in Scotland or who enjoy Scotland’s mountains. MCofS has over 10,000 members, including those in 135 mountaineering and climbing clubs, and receives support for its mountain safety activities from the Scottish Government through sportscotland.