Mountain safety experts are warning walkers, climbers and skiers to always check avalanche forecasts before heading onto the hills.

Their advice comes after three climbers were killed in an avalanche on Ben Nevis on Tuesday.

A fourth climber was injured and taken to hospital in Glasgow.

Heather Morning, a safety advisor with Mountaineering Scotland, said it was "absolutely essential" that climbers not only check avalanche forecasts but also that they understand what they are saying.

She added: "Different slopes on the same hill may have completely different snow conditions.

“A careful study of the mountain weather forecast is also an essential part of your planning, and your planned route should be finalised with that forecast in mind. "Something else to be mindful of is being flexible.

"Don’t become fixated on achieving your original goal. As conditions on the hill change, then so should your decision making.

"Often I end up on plan B, C or D as my journey on the hill progresses.”

Kev Mitchell, vice chair of Scottish Mountain Rescue said: “We encourage people to make use of all available information, including weather and avalanche forecasts.

"It is important to plan your day taking into account the conditions, ensure you are prepared to make safe decisions based on the weather and environment you are in and the group you are with.”

Trafford Wilson, CEO of Snowsport Scotland, said: “Back country skiing and boarding, whether in the mountains or through the glens, offer some amazing opportunities for unforgettable days out, and it’s encouraging to see so many people taking up the challenge.

“But skiing or boarding away from pisted and managed slopes adds a considerable degree of seriousness and people must be sure they are properly equipped and experienced.”

Avalanche forecasts and explanations of how to interpret them can be found at Mountain specific weather forecasts can be found at