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‘Messages’ left on snowy mountain leads to rescue of overdue walker

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team.
Braemar Mountain Rescue Team.

A hillwalker reported missing in the Cairngorms left clues in the snow to help mountain rescuers find him.

The 40-year-old had been unable to reach Aviemore as planned on Sunday due to high winds, and he sought shelter in a mountain bothy.

In a move which sounds more Hansel and Gretel than mountaineer, he used his walking pole to draw arrows towards where he was, along with his name.

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team said it was a first for them, and praised his quick thinking.

The man was well prepared for the trip and had left a detailed route plan with his family, who raised the alarm when he was overdue.

With no mobile reception at Corrour Bothy, the walker’s signals allowed rescuers to focus their search in the right direction – and luckily, no more snow fell to cover them.

Braemar MRT was joined by Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team for the search.


On its Twitter account, the rescue team wrote: “Some of the team deployed this morning to search for an overdue walker with @cairngorm_mrt

“The first search we’ve ever had where the missing chap was clever enough to leave us messages in the snow so we knew where to look.

“He’s now safe and well.”

The chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, Damon Powell replied: “We spent a happy few hours following a MP [missing person] footsteps last winter.

“After while became apparent they were going in a circle and it became a race to catch up.”

Twitter user MR.TR said: “I’ve always been told, if lost draw arrows with rocks or sticks or snow to show the direction that you’re travelling, at least every 10 meters.”

Another said: “Now that’s a helpful casualty.”

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