Scottish rescuers urged hillwalkers to learn map and compass skills to avoid getting into difficulties.
Conic Hill: two walkers led to safety
The advice came after a spate of rescues on the mountains and hills in the Callander area. Police and mountain rescue teams said walkers should be prepared for the conditions when venturing on to the tops.
Chief Inspector Kevin Findlater, of Central Scotland Police, said: “We have been involved in several mountain rescues recently where hillwalkers have been ill equipped and unprepared for the sudden change in weather.
“Most of these mountain rescues can be avoided if people are better prepared. Other people’s lives are put at risk to find missing hillwalkers and thankfully all the rescues so far have had happy endings.”
Mr Findlater detailed some of the recent rescues, which demonstrate the trend of walkers lacking the skills to get themselves out of difficulties.
He said a 49-year-old man contacted the police to say he was lost on Stuc a Chroin or Beinn Each, south-west of Ben Vorlich near Lochearnhead.
“Mist had closed in around him and he became lost while descending off the summit,” he said.
We called out Killin Mountain Rescue Team along with the Search and Rescue Dog Association. We searched for over four hours in mist and darkness when we heard shouts and located the man several kilometres south of Beinn Each. He was poorly equipped, had no safety equipment, very cold and very embarrassed.”
Two other walkers were found on Conic Hill near Drymen, who had got lost in fog and rain. Rescue team members found them and walked them off the hill. They were described as ill prepared.
Bill Rose, of Killin Mountain Rescue Team, said: “Hill walkers should always be equipped and prepared to cope with the sudden changes in weather conditions which happen all year including the summer. Mist and wet weather can roll in to the hills very quickly making it impossible to find a safe route off unless hill walkers know how to navigate in poor visibility.
“Recently we have been called to assist hill walkers who have spent long miserable hours, sometimes overnight, stranded on the mountains risking hypothermia. In some cases they have sustained serious injury by falling on steep ground they have encountered due to the inability to navigate in mist.
“We need your help to help you when a situation arises.”
He added that hill walkers should always carry a map, compass, torch, whistle along with adequate warm and bright coloured waterproof clothing.