Ben Lomond. Photo: Pete Chapman CC-BY-SA-2.0

Ben Lomond. Photo: Pete Chapman CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two walkers had to be rescued from the most southerly munro after leaving the tourist path and being ‘spooked’ by an adder.

The pair, aged 37 and 41, had to be roped by members of the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team after straying on to steep ground while descending 974m (3,196ft) Ben Lomond yesterday.

The walkers, described as novices by rescuers, set off from Rowardennan about 12.30pm and summited the hill about 5pm.

They took what they thought would be a short cut, turning west off the main path and got into difficulties.

A spokesperson for the rescue team said: “They found the terrain difficult and, at one point got spooked by coming across an adder, and then found themselves on steep, slippy ground with the light fading.”

The Lomond team was alerted at 8.30pm and the leader spoke by mobile phone to the walkers, who gave a latitude and longitude reading from the GPS unit in their phone.

“From their description of the surrounding area, it sounded like the casualties were in the wooded area, above Ardess, to the east of Sput Ban,” the spokesperson added.

“The first team members were tasked up the Ptarmigan ridge path. While a second group was being briefed to explore the grid reference supplied by the casualty’s mobile phone, a radio message came in to say that the first MR group had heard shouts from the missing pair.”

The two were found and assessed by rescuers, who decided they were well enough to be walked off the hill. However, the walkers had to be roped down across two large burns in the steep wooded gorge above Ardess before gaining safe ground.

The walkers were returned to Rowardennan about 12 hours after they had set off.

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