The two walkers were led to safety from the Border Ridge. Photo: BSARU

The two walkers were led to safety from the Border Ridge. Photo: BSARU

Two overseas visitors had to be rescued after getting into difficulties in the wintry Cheviot Hills within a day of landing in Britain.

The two 20-year-old students from Denmark set off from Kirk Yetholm on the northernmost section of the Pennine Way.

The women arrived at Edinburgh Airport on Wednesday, intending to spend six months walking in the UK and Ireland. They set off the following day, aiming to wild camp at Windy Gyle and then continue to Byrness.

Border Search and Rescue Unit, which was called out to help the two women, said it believed they lost a few pieces of kit along the way and after a day struggling through considerable quantities of lying snow, and having somehow missed the refuge hut on Auchope Ridge, they found themselves in darkness, far from shelter and without an adequate tent.

Border Search and Rescue team leader Stuart Fuller-Shapcott said: “They made a 112 call for help and asked for fire rescue. This was then routed to the police by the fire service, who called out BSARU. No hint of a location was available, even after phone conversations.

“A mobile-phone utility called Sarloc was used very successfully, and pinpointed their position a couple of kilometres north-east of Windy Gyle, and only a stone’s throw from where we rescued a party of 10 less than three weeks ago.

“The young women had just started the climb towards their exposed destination, which lies on the Pennine Way at 619m (a shade under 2,000ft) and became aware that they were getting increasingly tired and cold, and were far outside their comfort zone. 20 team members were available, having been diverted en route to our monthly business meeting, and made their way to Cocklawfoot Farm in the remote Bowmont Valley, and from there on to the hill.

“Conditions at valley level were extraordinarily muddy and slippery after recent rain and snow-melt, which made vehicular access to the hill difficult. Luckily the local farmer was able to shuttle some of our members onto the hill in a specialised six-wheel rough-terrain vehicle, with the remainder making their way up on foot.

“The casualties were found cold and a bit scared but otherwise unharmed. We warmed them and walked them to the Border Gate, where the farmer collected them and ferried them down into the valley.

“Once again, we’re indebted to Rob at Cocklawfoot for help in a rescue on the Border Ridge. We also had valuable help with the Sarloc system from our colleagues in the Northumberland teams.

“The girls on this occasion were just a bit inexperienced and under-equipped in terms of kit and hill-craft to be tackling the Cheviots in winter conditions. No doubt, after a few days’ reflection, they’ll carry on with their holiday a little wiser for the experience.

“We wish them happy travels.”

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