The Irish mountains are beautiful beyond belief during Winter, revealing dramatic landscapes that you can barely imagine. To say I love this time of year in the mountains is an understatement.
But, they can be brutal, harrowing and hostile if we venture out unprepared and without assessing the risks.
Mistakes and accidents happen in the mountains and it does not matter where you lie on the experience matrix, it can happen to all of us. The Mountain Rescue Teams will never judge someone that requires rescue but we owe it to them to prepare ourselves as best we can to mitigate risks.
We also have a moral duty during these strange Covid times to consider the volunteers that make up the Mountain Rescue teams, their families and loved ones. This is a new factor that we must include in our risk assessment and decision making, we must consider protecting those that are there for us when we need them most.
I hope this blog has helped in a small way to give you the confidence to go out into the mountains during Winter with an understanding of basic risk assessment, being prepared and being willing to change plans as the mountains will always be there for another day.