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YHA Walkers warned that it's still winter on the hills
    27/02/2013 03:00

Walkers warned that it's still winter on the hills

Lighter mornings and brighter sunshine is hinting that spring is on its way, and more walking enthusiasts may be tempted to pull out those hiking boots and hit the hills in the coming weeks. However, one top mountaineer is advising that walkers still need to take winter precautions.

Temperatures are still relatively low and the wind-chill factor out on open countryside can make it seem much colder. Professional climber Alan Hinkes, who has braved conditions in the Alps and Himalayas, claims Lake District Mountain Rescue teams are being overworked by hillwalkers unprepared for the elements.

Speaking to the Westmoreland Gazette, he explained: "I think the hills should be for everyone and it's great people get out walking.

"I always say I don't climb to die, I climb to live, and I'm sure it's the same for everyone else. The problem is people think how lovely and spring-like it is in the valley and don’t realise Helvellyn is icy and dangerous and that it's sub-zero on the tops."

Walkers heading out in the next few weeks should pack plenty of warm layers - outer one being waterproof - and crampons for their walking boots, in case icy areas are encountered. This should be in addition to the essential items you should always take out on the hills: a map, compass, whistle, torch with spare batteries and bulb, survival bag, reliable watch, food and water (enough for the day plus extra for emergencies) and a first aid kit.

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