Walker saved by mountain rescue team in nine-hour blizzard drama

The team was called out by a walker stranded in blizzard conditions around 3000 ft up Carn Ban Mor. Picture: Contributed
The team was called out by a walker stranded in blizzard conditions around 3000 ft up Carn Ban Mor. Picture: Contributed
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Mountain rescuers have revealed how they spent nine hours bringing a walker to safety after he became stranded in blizzard conditions.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team was called out on Saturday evening to help the man on Carn Ban Mor, a Munro-height mountain in the Glenfeshie area of the Highlands.

They had to climb from a valley to the 3000ft high summit to rescue the walker, after a Coastguard helicopter was thwarted by the conditions and was unable to drop them off any higher.

A statement from the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team said the walker had earlier “succumbed to bad weather and the challenges of navigation in a blizzard.”

The statement added: “We were getting quite concerned for the casualty.

“He had cut the laces off his boots because both his boots and his feet were frozen. It sounded like he was in a bad way and it was proving really difficult to get to him.

“In the end, a party of team members had to climb up from the valley to the summit of the hill to locate and rescue the walker.

“The helicopter crew kept trying to reach the stranded walker through the night, but the weather was simply too bad.

“The rescue effort lasted nine hours. The guys got finished about 3am.”

Details of the rescue emerged as teams continued searching for a walker who went missing in the north-west Highlands with his brother.

The alarm was raised after Alan Gibson, 56, and Neil Gibson, 63, who had a black Pointer dog called Archie with them, failed to return from a walk in Strathcarron, Wester Ross, on Thursday.

Alan Gibson’s body was found by mountain rescue teams searching in the area of Achnashellach on Saturday.

A police spokesman said: “We can sadly confirm that mountain rescue teams have recovered the body of Alan Gibson, one of two missing brothers and who failed to return from a hill-walk in the Achnashellach area on Thursday. Our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. Searches are ongoing.”

Land and air searches have been carried out by members of the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team, Kintail Mountain Rescue Team, RAF Mountain Rescue Team, SARDA dogs and a Coastguard helicopter.

The Maritime and Coastguard agency said the searches had been covering a wide area taking in the peaks of Fuar Tholl, Sgorr Ruadh and Beinn Liath Mhor.