Rescuers were scrambled to pluck two panic-stricken walkers from a mountain in Moray amid treacherous conditions.
The Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams, and Coastguard crews, were called to Ben Rinnes, between Dufftown and Glenlivet, on Saturday as Storm Ciara swept through the region.
The shaken pair were eventually winched from the hill by the Coastguard helicopter and rescue teams were stood down at about 9pm.
The support manager for the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team, Malcolm Macintyre, last night said the incident should serve as a warning for people to avoid such treks during adverse weather.
Mr Macintyre said: “There had been a lot of warnings about the conditions all across the country.
“This might be considered a ‘low level walk’, so people may have thought it was safe to undertake.
“And although these types of walk may feel accessible at first, walkers should bear in mind that the wind gets much stronger the closer you get to the top.
“It can accelerate, and make it impossible to walk in, with people being blown over onto icy ground. It can be dangerous.”
He added: “This incident shows that, even though people may assume that it is safe to go up a smaller hill in windy weather, that is not always the case.”
Mr Macintyre said that car parks at several peaks, which would normally be busy, were mostly empty at the weekend as people took heed of weather warnings.
Last month, rescuers condemned a walker who sparked a major drama on the hills in atrocious conditions – but was later found sleeping in a bothy.
The man, aged in his 20s, reported he had lost his companions in the Cairngorms and had injured his leg.
An operation, which lasted 12 hours and involved 16 members from Cairngorm and Tayside mountain rescue teams, was launched as the worst of Storm Brendan hit the north.