Two young mountaineers who carried a hypothermic walker to safety have been praised as “heroes” for helping to save his life.
The man had climbed Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms - Scotland’s second highest peak - but got into difficulty on his return trip.
Rescuers said the two mountaineers passing by, a young man and woman who are a couple, found the walker “in a bad way”. They then “half-carried” him for two to three kilometres, supporting him to walk until he could no longer bear his own weight. After carrying the walker far enough to get a phone signal, they called mountain rescuers.
Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) said: “CMRT and Glenmore Lodge instructors were flown to the area close to the casualty, thanks to SAR Helicopter R951 flying in poor weather.
“After immediate treatment, the casualty was assisted to the waiting helicopter and evacuated.”
The man was initially warmed on the hill and then further warmed up and fed at the mountain rescue team’s base.
CMRT team leader Willie Anderson said the incident was a great example of mountaineers helping each other.
Speaking about the young mountaineers, he said: “They really were the heroes on that day. Their actions, for sure, saved that chap’s life.
“He was very, very grateful. He’s fine. He himself realises ... that their actions saved his life. He would have died, he knows that.
“I told that young couple that they were absolutely Samaritans, in the true sense of it.”
He said the couple were from England but was unable to give a precise location.
Mr Anderson said rescuers were involved in the operation from around 2:30pm to 6pm on Tuesday - their fourth call-out of the New Year.
On Monday, a couple and their dog were found safe and well after spending the night in the Cairngorms in freezing temperatures.
Robert and Cathy Elmer, from Leicestershire, were reported missing on Sunday when they failed to return from a New Year’s Day walk.
The couple, who are both in their fifties, were forced to take shelter in a bivvy bag after bad weather closed in and they were found with their dog on Monday afternoon.