Rescuers faced 60mph winds and driven sleet during the incident. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

Rescuers faced 60mph winds and driven sleet during the incident. Photo: Cairngorm MRT

A rescue team leader described as ‘a total waste of our resources’ an incident in which its members battled driving sleet in Storm Brendan to reach a walker, only to find him in his sleeping bag in a bothy.

Willie Anderson made the remark after Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team ended up walking 16 miles in the teeth of the storm on Monday night when the man, in his 20s rang 999.

When the team reached the casualty after facing 60mph winds, he informed them he had ‘a sore tendon’.

Members of Tayside MRT also responded to the incident in the Ben Alder area in the central Highlands.

A Coastguard helicopter was unable to help in the operation because of the stormy weather.

The man called for help from the shores of Loch Ericht after becoming separated from his two companions. He told police he had an injured leg and was cold and wet. He supplied a grid reference for his location.

But when Cairngorm MRT members reached the point, he was not there. They decided to check the Benalder Cottage bothy and found the three men safe in their sleeping bags.

Writing on social media, the team said: “We rarely criticise but this was total abuse of our resources. He was found in the bothy with his mates in their sleeping bags.

“We walked 26k in very poor weather to find him. He said he had a sore tendon! Oh well!

“Rant over and it’s full winter conditions at last on the hill. Enjoy yourselves. But if you need us we will come.”

The Cairngorm MRT volunteers made their way back by foot, ending the callout about 4am on Tuesday.

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