Hillwalkers are being urged to make sure they are fully prepared for outdoor activities as coronavirus measures are due to be eased.
Restrictions on travel are to be lifted across Scotland on Friday, meaning people can travel across the country for outdoor exercise.
Mountaineering Scotland has welcomed the move but urged those heading for the hills to make sure they are properly prepared and ready to be flexible in their plans.
CEO Stuart Younie said: “We are delighted with the unexpected news this week and particularly for those living in the cities and smaller local authority areas who have had limited access to the outdoors during this lockdown, as they can now get back to doing what they love.
“The last 12 months have demonstrated how important outdoor recreation is for our physical and mental wellbeing, and as things start to ease it will play an important role in our economic recovery, particularly in rural areas.”
Popular destinations are expected to be very busy, meaning walkers and climbers travelling by car may have to set off early or consider going somewhere less populated.
Mountaineering Scotland also advised that to get the most out of their day, people should think carefully about the conditions they are likely to meet on the hill.
Snow still lies extensively on the higher hills and fluctuating temperatures have meant much of it is likely to be very icy.
Heather Morning, adviser for Mountaineering Scotland, said: “An ice axe and crampons to cope with any icy stretches really are still essential items of kit at this time of year.
“People should also be conscious that, with limited opportunity to climb in the hills over the last few months, they may have lost some hill-fitness and may well prefer to take on easier walks to begin with so they can ease themselves back into the swing of things.”
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