UK: Two walkers flown to safety after Cairngorms rescue near Devil’s Point – 291013 1500z

Police Scotland can confirm that they were called to assist with a mountain rescue in the central Cairngorms on Monday, October 28, at around 6.45pm, after two male walkers reported they were lost in the Devils Point area, near Cairn Toul.

File:Cairngorms-sketch-map.jpg

A full mountain rescue deployment was immediately launched, building to eight mountain rescue teams, as well as the RAF Search and Rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.

The lost walkers were found by searchers in a very precarious location on the high plateau at around 8.15am, suffering the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion. They were then evacuated by helicopter to the Mountain Rescue Centre at Braemar.

Chief Inspector Andrew Todd, team leader of the Police Scotland (Grampian) Mountain Rescue Team, said:
This mountain rescue incident gave us grave cause for concern as the lives of these individuals were clearly in jeopardy.
Specially-trained and experienced mountain rescue officers worked through the night with volunteers from both the Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams. We brought in support from volunteer teams in both Tayside and the Highlands & Islands, as well as search and rescue dogs and the RAF, so that we could find the hill walkers before they succumbed to cold, wet and exhaustion.
It was very rewarding for all those involved when we found them. They were on very steep ground and unable to move, but we were able to evacuate them safely back to Braemar. Thankfully, they did not sustain any serious injuries and were able to return home after they were checked over at the Mountain Rescue Centre.” Lomond Mountain Rescue Team

Other reports

Two walkers flown to safety after Cairngorms rescue near Devil’s Point

BBC

Two walkers were flown to safety after a major overnight search in the Cairngorms.

Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams were among those assisted by a helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth during the operation.

They faced blizzard conditions in the Devil’s Point area, near Cairn Toul.

The alarm was raised on Monday night. The two men were found in a “precarious location” at about 08:15, suffering the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion.

‘Very rewarding’

Ch Insp Andrew Todd, team leader of the Police Scotland (Grampian) Mountain Rescue Team, said: “This mountain rescue incident gave us grave cause for concern as the lives of these individuals were clearly in jeopardy.

“Specially-trained and experienced mountain rescue officers worked through the night with volunteers from both the Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams.

“We brought in support from volunteer teams in both Tayside and the Highlands and Islands, as well as search and rescue dogs and the RAF, so that we could find the hill walkers before they succumbed to cold, wet and exhaustion.”

He added: “It was very rewarding for all those involved when we found them.

“Thankfully, they did not sustain any serious injuries and were able to return home after they were checked over.”

Related

Cairngorm John’s guide to staying safe in the mountains this winter

“For many people, the lure of tackling Scotlands mountains in winter is irresistible.

The prospect of walking, climbing or skiing on pristine-white slopes, amid a sun-drenched vista, carries understandable attractions for all those who enjoy outdoor pursuits.

Yet, as John Allen, the man who led the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue team from 1989 to 2007, is only too aware, there are few things more foolhardy than taking to the hills without adequate precautions to ensure a terrific day out isnt transformed into a terrifying white-out.

Allen penned his autobiography, Cairngorm John (Sandstone Publishing) last year and recounted his myriad experiences on the mountains, where the weather can close in on unsuspecting climbers in the space of a few moments.

And he has witnessed enough tragedies to realise that you can never tame Nature to the stage where you have eliminated risk altogether.

Indeed, the winter of 2012-13 was a pretty grim season on the slopes. In January, four climbers perished on Glencoe, a walker subsequently died in the Cairngorms, and three others lost their lives, following a devastating avalanche in February.

Allen knows as much as anybody about the ferocity of the conditions during these incidents.

He said: It is positively Arctic. The wind can pick you up and physically throw you in the air. The visibility can be reduced by blinding snow and cloud to one or two metres and the temperature is regularly well below -18C.

Your domestic freezer runs at that temperature. That will freeze beef or even horse meat. Most climbers simply cannot comprehend what these conditions are like.

So, when you go to the mountains, it will never be entirely risk-free. But it should be remembered that avalanche conditions can be recognised and steps taken to avoid them.

John Allen’s top eight tips for those on the mountains in winter.

via STV via STV
  • Do NOT go out unless you can comfortably navigate in mist or darkness using a Silva-type compass and Ordnance Survey map. Your map should be protected from the damp – a freezer bag will do nicely.
  • Never go out without consulting the avalanche forecast and the weather forecast. (There are plenty of good web sites, such as http://www.stv.tv).
  • Do NOT go out without your ice axe and crampons and head torch. Practice your ice axe braking techniques at the start of the winter. Replace the batteries on your head torch.
  • Be prepared to alter your route or turn back. There is no shame in making a retreat. In fact, it is often the mark of the experienced mountaineer that they can make the disciplined retreat.
  • Never rely only on your mobile phone. There are many areas where there is no signal. Keep your phone switched off to preserve batteries. Do NOT rely on an App map for your navigation or the compass on your phone. (One of our team members once said that if your phone was dead, the only way to attract the attention of the CMRT would be to throw the phone at them!)
  • Don’t rely on Global Positioning Satellite devices. They are not always correct and, in a deep corrie or valley, you may not get three satellites to give your position.
  • Good winter boots and outer shell clothing are, of course, a necessity.
  • Dialling 999 should be a last resort – only used after considering all the options.

One last thought….

At the end of the day, we can never eliminate all the risks of being in the hills.

There is the quote from many years ago which I often use: If you go into the mountains, if you want to see what beauty they offer, you have to accept that the mountains can take as well as give.

These words were spoken by a woman who had lost her father, nearly 50 years ago, while he was guiding on the Tour Ronde. They are worth remembering by everyone.

Mountain Weather Forecasts (Met Office)

Search & Rescue News (Goatys News)

 

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