Mountain rescue teams claim they are being “increasingly challenged” by searches for hikers who leave little or no information of their routes.
Hillwalkers are encouraged to leave such details with their family or friends before they set off in case they get into difficulty on a walk or climb, but rescue teams and police said that they have been involved in searches where this has not happened.
Superintendent Colin Gough, of Police Scotland, said: “We do not want to put anybody off these great outdoor experiences. We are all, however, increasingly challenged by searches for people who have left minimal or no information regarding their intentions.
“We are asking the hill-going public, and even those on lower-level rambles, to make sure that somebody knows where they are going so that we have a better idea where to look for them.”
Scottish Mountain Rescue, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Police Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland have had to issue the statement after a spate of mountain rescues.
Damien Oliver, assistant director for aviation for the MCA, said: “In the last few weeks there have been a number of helicopter rescues carried out in the Scottish mountains in response to people who have become injured, lost and at risk of exposure. It’s vital that we get the message out to everyone who’s planning to go into the mountains to please check the weather conditions for your area before you go and make sure you’re well equipped. Tell someone your planned route and what time you will be expected back.”