Safety first while climbing up Bennachie this winter

With wintery weather forecast, the Bailies of Bennachie are promoting advice for walkers to stay safe on the Bennachie hill range.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 6:27 am

The iconic Aberdeenshire hill isn’t the highest but is a very popular day out for people of all ages and can present hazards during winter.

Mario De Mai of the Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team has written the advice which can be found on the winter section of the Bailies fun and learning website

He warns that icy paths, short hours of daylight, and a strenuous climb can all present hazards at this time of year.

He said: “Bennachie is frequently the scene of accidents which end up involving the local Mountain Rescue Team. In fact, Bennachie has almost as many callouts for Mountain Rescue Teams as the much bigger mountains of the Cairngorms.

“So small it might be in comparison to the bigger hills and mountains to the west but it can be just as challenging. Many of the incidents which end up with people having to be rescued are a result of them not wearing the correct footwear.

“Even on the warmest of days the weather on top of Bennachie can be cold and windy.

“There is not a great deal of shelter on any of the Bennachie tops and getting out of the wind can be difficult so you should have extra clothes with you and certainly a jacket to keep the wind out.

“During the winter months it important to have a hat and gloves and it is always worth carrying an extra layer to pop on when you get to the top.”

As well as wearing strong walking shoes or boots and appropriate clothing the Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team recommends having a clear plan, taking a map, checking the weather forecast, and taking water and a snack .

The outreach officer for the Bailies of Bennachie, Fiona Cormack said: “We are grateful to the Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team for helping with this section on our website.

“There is information on the Team; their history and training, a video of a day in the life of a mountain rescuer, as well as more information about staying safe in winter.

“We hope people will follow their advice and there will be fewer call outs in the next few months.”