Hillcraft Handy Hints
Staying safe in winter
1. It goes without saying, but I will say it – take ice-axe and crampons, and practice using them beforehand. Don’t waste too much time practicing self-arrest with your axe – learn instead how to stay secure on your crampons so you don’t fall in the first place.
2. Carry extra gear – in winter as well as axe and crampons my sack will always have a “bothy shelter”, a Blizzard survival bag, a Primaloft jacket, headtorch and spare batteries, two spare pairs of gloves (I get cold hands!) and a spare hat, first aid kit, and spare glucose as well as flask of coffee and food. I’ll also have map, compass and GPS.
3. On the other hand, don’t over-burden yourself. Too much gear means you move more slowly, and in winter speed is important.
4. Don’t waste time faffing about – be organised, keep your kit in order, start early and be mentally prepared to come down in the dark.