Walkers came to the aid of a blind man found walking in patent leather shoes through a high Cairngorms pass.

The 48-year-old man, who had been reported missing yesterday after failing to return to Aviemore, was rescued from the Lairig Ghru, close to collapse. He was airlifted to hospital but later released.

The unnamed man was evacuated by the RAF helicopter after the group of walkers came across him and raised the alarm. The Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team and the Northern Constabulary went to his aid, but he was considered too ill-equipped and cold to walk out, so the helicopter was called.

The walkers had helped keep him warm in their emergency shelter.

An RAF spokesman told the Daily Record: “The man is registered blind.

“He was cold and wet and in a bit of a state. It’s lucky he was found when he was. We don't know why he was there.

“He’s maybe got off a bus and taken a wrong turn or just gone out for a walk and got lost.”

The Lairig Ghru is a 32-kilometre pass in the shadow of Ben Macdui, Scotland’s second-highest mountain. At its highest point, it reaches 838m above sea level. A couple of years ago, a national hillwalking magazine caused consternation among mountain rescuers by claiming it could be a snow-free route in winter.