TWO climbers were today recovering from the effects of hypothermia and exhaustion after being flown to safety from the blizzard swept Cairngorms.
The hill walkers, who had become lost overnight in white out conditions in the “Devil’s Point” area of the mountains near Cairn Toul, were found after a 13 hour search involving the Grampian police mountain rescue team, the Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams, volunteer teams from Tayside and the Highlands and Islands, and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.
A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said the rescue mission had swung into operation shortly before 7pm last night after the two male walkers reported they were lost in the Devil’s Point area.
She said: “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, the 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.”
He added: “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.”