GRASSINGTON-based fell rescue volunteers have been polishing up their winter skills in the Cairngorms mountains in Scotland.

Members of Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association spent a long weekend in the mountain range undertaking their annual winter training so the team can maintain its capability to be able to respond in all weathers in the Yorkshire Dales.

They faced 50mph winds during the weekend -reinforcing the ability to be able to cope and operate in all extremes of weather. A UWFRA spokesperson said: "Training looked at personal winter skills; including the use of an ice axe and crampons on steep ground, avalanche assessment, navigation and application of snow anchors.

"Team members headed into Coire an Sneachda to cover team based winter skills applicable to winter rescues. This included avalanche search and rescue protocols, the application of ‘meat’ belays and the identification and treatment of hypothermia using our heated casualty bag.

"It concluded with training being focused on steep ground with members honing their ability to operate confidently and efficiently on this terrain."