Dramatic video has emerged of the rescue of two women climbers who were airlifted off Britain’s highest mountain after getting stuck for more than two hours.
The pair became cragfast on 4409-feet Ben Nevis and raised the alarm by mobile phone.
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were alerted around 5.45pm last Thursday week (April 2) but the new Inverness Coastguard search and rescue helicopter winched the women off Castle Ridge at around 7.30pm.
“They just got a bit scared and did the right thing in calling for help,” said Lochaber MRT leader John Stevenson.
The team also appealed to hillwalkers and climbers who have converged on the area not to be fooled by the spring conditions – and warned that Ben Nevis is “still in full winter garb.”
“It is full on winter on the mountain and there are a lot of people out,” said Mr Stevenson. “There has been a bit of a thaw and cornices are in danger of collapsing but more snow is on its way.
“Anyone heading onto the mountains should make sure that they are properly equipped for winter and be able to navigate and know how to use the gear. Don’t depend on phone apps.”
Recently a group of “ill equipped” charity hillwalkers – including one that had “a lucky escape” falling more than 650ft – were heavily criticised by Lochaber MRT, in an unprecedented attack by the organisation.
The rescue team dispatched 26 of its volunteers to look for the group in a 12-hour rescue effort.
The others ignored advice to stay put and also fell.
The video on YouTube brought praise as well as nearly 300 views within hours of being posted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Christine Anderson wrote:”Well done guys, you are an inspiration, where would we be without people like you.”
Meanwhile the search for a 23-year-old hillwalker who has been missing on Ben Nevis since April 1 was resumed today/yesterday (Fri) by members of Lochaber MRT after it was suspended several days ago because of safety fears over the rescuers.
They had warned of the “high” avalanche risk on Ben Nevis.
The massive hunt for Londoner Kyle Knox was described by Mr Stevenson as “a needle in a haystack” with four feet snow drifts and at times blizzard conditions.
Police Scotland said the search was suspended “until ground conditions improve to allow a safe and full search by mountain rescue teams.”
Mr Stevenson said:”It has thawed a bit and we will be looking in certain areas we think he might have gone.
“We have been all over the mountain – to the summit, everywhere we can think of – but could find any trace of the lad.”
Mr Knox is described as 5 ft 10, slim build with dark hair. He was last seen wearing dark waterproof trousers, walking boots and a jacket with red flashes on it.
People had also been warned by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland over “serious safety concerns” about the conditions.
Heather Morning, the council’s safety adviser, said only people with adequate gear and knowledge of winter conditions should go out.
Simon Steer, chairman of Scottish Mountain Rescue, added: “It’s a sad fact that the beautiful, yet deceptive conditions on the hills at Easter means that this is often a busy time for the volunteers in the mountain rescue teams.
“We hope that hill goers will heed advice of the MCofS to avoid getting into difficulties which can place both themselves and their rescuers at risk.”