Hillwalkers and mountain climbers are being urged to take care on the slopes this winter.
Sports Minister Shona Robison said challenging, wintry conditions can prove hazardous to anyone under-prepared and that too many lives are lost each year.
Walkers are advised to keep up to date with weather forecasts and inform friends or family of their route.
Enthusiasts are also encouraged to know their limits and not undertake any walk or climb that is too ambitious.
Ms Robison said: “With some snowsports centres opening with the early arrival of snow, I’m glad people are enjoying our countryside, getting active, and experiencing some spectacular scenery.
“However, I urge everyone, whether you are an experienced climber or walker or not, to check weather forecasts, plan ahead and have the correct equipment before heading out.”
Mark Diggins from the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service said that because weather can change quickly, climbers must be prepared for every eventuality.
“The fast-changing weather, with its snowfall, avalanche hazard, strong winds and poor visibility, requires us to be much more prepared when going into the mountains in the winter.
“Good clothing, navigational ability, appropriate equipment, and use of ice axe and crampons are a necessary requirement for our enjoyment and safety.”