The Met Office also has a more specific mountain areas forecast:http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/loutdoor/mountainsafety/.
For winter you MUST keep an eye on the Avalanche Information Service (when it starts on the 15th Dec.) Note the avalanche rose and direction of dangerous slopes: http://www.sais.gov.uk
- Keep an eye on the forecast so you know when fresh snow has fallen, the snow will stabilise over a few days or avalanche. In these conditions it's dangerous and the avalanche category will reflect that.
- Look at the avalanche rose, because you should be able to figure out the direction the windslab is built up on.
- Dig snow pits; the simpler the better. Dig down with your axe so you can see and touch the snow layers. Play with them to see how easily you can make them slide.
Crampons can be used several ways, these are shown here:
Different crampons fix in different ways, get them early and try them in the hall, then you know they fit.
Don't get too flustered because it sounds horrible, it's not. This is where the club comes in, as you can take assurance from someone else going out with you who has done it before.
Some more stuff on staying alive in winter: http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=729
Quite a few mentions of the obvious crampons and ice axe, which the club have to lend to you. Quite a few mentions of the not so obvious bothy bag, which the club also has to lend to you (if you don't know what one is, YOU are the MAIN person that should be borrowing one. Email me to get one, keep it in the bottom of your bag (it's like a emergency tent.)