Please find guidance and information regarding the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
Updated: 22nd May 2020
Can I visit the Scottish Mountains again at Phase 1?
(currently due to begin on 28th May)
If you are lucky enough to meet to the Scottish Government travel guidelines for Phase 1 (Permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but advice to stay within a short distance of your local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible. Nicola Sturgeon says the government is asking people to “stay fairly local”. Five miles is not going to be a strict limit, she says, but is intended to provide a guide.”What we don’t want is for people to congregate in tourist hot-spots,” says the first minister.)
Then yes, welcome back!
When will people from further afield be allowed to visit the hills?
We don’t know, that is down to the Scottish Government travel guidelines but we really hope it won’t be long and will continue to work with other national organisations to ensure we can see you in the hills just as soon as it is safe to do so.
Are we back to normal when we visit the hills?
No! We need to work together and remember what we are trying to achieve to make this work. Particularly at this stage when so many still can’t access the hills. If you do live near enough remember how lucky you are.
Are SMR teams responding to callouts?
Yes, a lot of work has gone in to new procedures to try and make callouts as safe as possible for our team members and casualties. We also now have an adequate stock of basic PPE for a few rescues for each team. Though to be honest we are slightly nervous, particularly if we get a sudden rush of rescues at any point, we may then struggle to cope.
Should I feel guilty if I need to call MR?
No, accidents happen, we would be concerned if you didn’t call us. We are here to help, not judge.
Remember in an emergency in the outdoors call 999, ask for Police, then Mountain Rescue
Are rescues the same as before?
No, they will be much slower, with fewer people, less helicopter support, more walking and carrying for us and on some occasions we may decide that we can help by phone only.
What can I do to help make it work?
Self reliance. Plan your day carefully, stick to the type of days that you know you have done safely for several years already. Be sensitive to any local community you are visiting, they are also worried.
What activities can I undertake in the hills?
“Non contact outdoor activities”, hiking is specifically mentioned as an example. We understand “ contact” to refer to physical contact with other people.
Do I need to take any extra equipment?
You may well have to wait for longer than we would normally like for a rescue, so group shelter or survival bag, extra warm clothing and food are a good idea. Assume you will be out overnight if that helps to plan, although we hope it won’t be the case. Also a small hand sanitiser, face covering such as a buff and thin rubber gloves could be added.
How else can I help?
If you are reading this we suspect you will be pretty well prepared already. But we are concerned that there is a group of people, who don’t usually go to the hills, who are keen to come and experience the benefits of hill walking so please share this to anyone you know of and direct them to Mountaineering Scotland for guidance.
Numerous outdoor sports bodies are all working hard to produce more detailed guidance and we will share that as we get it.