The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, the British Mountaineering Council and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland are concerned about five fatalities which have occurred within the first two months of the winter season – all in one area. All the accidents occurred in Coire an t-Sneachda in the northern Cairngorms. Whilst each incident occurred in different circumstances, one common factor is the proximity and ease of access to the coire.
It is important to recognise that although it is relatively easy to access the northern corries of the Cairngorms, the terrain is as serious as any in Scotland and the full range of mountaineering and climbing skills are needed to manage the risks involved. Some of the skills are technical but equally important are judgement and decision-making. It takes time to acquire these skills.
The following factors are of particular importance: