Rescuers forced to take refuge in mountain bothy

Volunteers from Braemar Mountain Rescue found the exhausted man, believed to be from Aberdeen and in his mid-30s. Picture: contributed
Volunteers from Braemar Mountain Rescue found the exhausted man, believed to be from Aberdeen and in his mid-30s. Picture: contributed
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Rescuers had to bed down for the night in a mountain-top bothy after they went to the aid of an ill-equipped walker.

Volunteers from Braemar Mountain Rescue found the exhausted man, believed to be from Aberdeen and in his mid-30s.

The cloud cover on Beinn Mheadhoin, in a remote part of the Cairngorms, was too low for a helicopter, the team had no choice but to settle in for the night.

Rescuers were despatched after the man failed to return home on Sunday and his wife alerted emergency services.

He had underestimated the testing conditions, had no proper waterproofs and began to struggle due to soft snow underfoot.

He eventually sought refuge in a rescue shelter known as the Fords of Avon to wait until he was found by an advance party from Braemar Mountain Rescue.

The rescuers had been sent ahead as an advance party to look for the man, while a larger team mobilised.

Malcolm Macintyre, support manager for the team, was one of those who pushed on ahead and found the walker about two and a half hours later. He said: “We found him there in the shelter at about 1:30am.

“There was no way we were going to be able to walk back down as he was absolutely knackered.

“The clouds were also too low for a helicopter to come, so we stayed overnight.

“It came for us the next morning, at about 6:30am, and took us back to the rescue centre in Braemar.

“His clothes weren’t very good. They were only cotton. He didn’t have a proper waterproof.

“He knew he was well out of his depth and was very apologetic when we found him.”

Though tired after his ordeal, Mr Macintyre said the walker was otherwise uninjured. On a busy weekend, the team were also alerted to a group of overdue walkers after they failed to return to Linn of Dee.

The party eventually returned to the car park, safe and well, about 90 minutes later than anticipated and team members were stood down.

The team also had to escort three exhausted hillwalkers from the Corrour Bothy, on the southern side of the Lairig Ghru, on Saturday.

Two men in the Cairngorms took refuge in the Findouran bothy after encountering thigh-deep drifts last week and had to be flown to safety on Thursday.