by Mick Ryan Winter approaches. Last weekend Scotland was overcast, a bit wet, with the occaisional ray of sun, at least in Glencoe where I was. This week it isn´t much different but it is getting colder, with a slight chance of wintery showers. Whilst we wait it´s time for a bit of preparation. Today we published an article Ice Climbing Gear Check by Adrian Nelhams of International School of Mountaineering (ISM) read it here, and don´t forget Graham Gedge´s Sharpening up your act, and your ice tools available here. The BMC also have some wintery products and advice that are a worth checking out. First, they have a new addition to their British Mountain Map series, Ben Nevis & Glen Coe. It is tough, durable and 100% waterproof and covers 43 Munros, 14 Corbetts and a detailed enlargement of the Ben Nevis summit on the reverse. This is a serious map for a serious mountain (1:40 000). It has been produced in co-operation with the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the British Geological Survey. You can buy it here Whilst your at it also check out the BMC´s Winter Essentials DVD, a 120 minute film covering: Navigation, Self Arrest, Clothing, Equipment, Crampons, Ice Axes, Snow Bollards, Avalanche Awareness, Ice Axe Belays, and Emergency Proceedures. Glenmore Lodge have an avalanche quiz called SpotChecks in Avalanche Awareness, a free computer based quiz aimed at everyone who goes into the hills in winter. It will confirm that you know your stuff, or let you know the areas in which you should do more thinking. It was created by Malcolm Seddon of CAST Education and Ian Sherrington of Glenmore Lodge, with the support of The Catherine Smith Memorial Trust. Play the quiz here Need some inspiration? Check out the Winter Climbing gallery at where you´ll find 3,552 photos uploaded by UKC registered climbers (searchable too), click just here >Winter climbing Gallery Ben Nevis forecast at Rjukan forecast at Ouray forecast at