Walkers have been warned of the fast-changing nature of Scotland’s weather on the hills after two consecutive rescues on misty peaks in Skye.
A young couple from London attempting to the Old Man of Storr, on the Trotterish Ridge, became disorientated and walked past the famous attraction.
Skye Mountain Rescue Team volunteers were called out and managed to trace the pair and walk them to safety.
Team leader Neil Urquhart said: “The Old Man was completely invisible in the mist and they had carried on to the open hills above it.
Some more photos from the #MistyIsle rescues today. Conditions like this are why a map and compass are essential when venturing out for walks in Skye. Whistles are also of benefit if you get lost in mist as your position can be pinpointed by those looking for you. pic.twitter.com/pO7Dz3SVpB
— Skye Mountain Rescue (@SkyeMRT) April 21, 2019
“We managed to find them fairly quickly using whistles and shouting. Luckily for them the mist lifted enough and they got pictures of the Old Man on the way down.”
Within minutes of walking off the mountain after almost four hours on the hill, the rescuers were called for a second time, to aid a young German couple who had become exhausted in the mist near Bealach Chaipi, also on the Trotterish Ridge on the Uig side of the peak.
Mr Urquhart said: “They were on the Skye Trail and had been walking for six to seven hours.
“They had been battling in the wind, rain and mist all day and the woman had really become exhausted.
“They attempted to camp but the tent was being blown down and they called for help.”
The couple were finally walked off at 9pm on Sunday after another four hours for the rescue team.
Mr Urquhart said: “Conditions like this are why a map and compass are essential when venturing out for walks in Skye.
“Whistles are also of benefit if you get lost in mist as your position can be pinpointed by those looking for you.
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“Incidents like this just show how the weather can change on the hills and for people to be well prepared, although these two couples were better equipped than many we go out to rescue.
“They weren’t just in trainers and jeans, and also had bivvy bags. But they were caught out.”
Mountain safety adviser Heather Morning also advised walkers and climbers to be prepared for difficult conditions, even as summer approaches.
She said: “It is pretty inevitable more people are lured to the hills when it is sunny, and especially over Easter weekend.
“But incidents do happen. While the weather might be fine at the base, up high in the hills it can be very different.”