KERRY Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) PRO Damien Courtney has warned that unseasonably mild weather conditions should not lead hillwalkers and climbers into a false sense of security.
"Irish mountains are not high by international standards but they are challenging," Mr Courtney stated. "People suffer serious injury whatever the weather and, unfortunately, death is a feature in the hills of Ireland every year."
The KMRT annual Christmas safety message refers to ' three wise things' for seasonal mountain walkers to reflect upon. They include: skills & equipment, the weather and the terrain.
While stating that people should still enjoy the mountains, the team has asked climbers and hillwalkers to prepare properly.
They warn that people should never venture into the mountains alone, no matter how experienced, and that someone with navigational skills should be with every party.
Mountain boots, warm clothing, food and drink, a first aid kit, map, compass and torch are essential equipment but fitness is also key. Indeed, the stamina of the weakest member of the party should dictate. Climbers are also asked to listen to the forecast before making plans and, if poor weather is forecast, consider low level routes.
Climbers are warned to have experience of steep terrain before tackling our high mountains.
To call KMRT dial 112 or 999 and ask for mountain rescue.