Mountain rescue was called yesterday to aid two climbers who had got lost in poor weather on the Cairngorm Plateau.

The man and woman who are Edinburgh based and in their 20s got lost after attempting a winter climb and the conditions changed.

The conditions were described as “ferocious”.

In total 22 members of the Mountain Rescue team, were called out to aid the climbers.

The team tweeted saying: “No aircraft available due to weather conditions, which are worsening. Expect evacuation to be protracted.”

Meaning that it required manpower on the ground to locate the pair.

The lost climbers were located at 21:20, having made the emergency call at 17:45 and CMRT posted that preparations were underway for evacuation.

Around 2 hours later CMRT confirmed that the casualties were in their vehicle and described the night as tough.

Cairngorm MRT said the pair had planned to climb Lochnagar in the Aberdeenshire side of the Cairngorms, but changed their plans and set out for a climb from the CairnGorm Mountain snowsports centre, near Aviemore, instead.

The CMRT confirmed the pair had got soaked during the climb.

The pair had left their emergency gear at the base of the Crags that they had climbed and had been unable to locate their kit.

Due to the recent snowfall, there was a “significant” avalanche risk the team said. The climbers found themselves in winds of 80mph at 1,219m (4,000ft).

Another Mountain Rescue team recently said that you shouldn’t ditch vital gear to save weight, while this pair had the right gear they had unfortunately left it and couldn’t find it again.

There is some essential kit like Winter Jackets and Boots which are essential when out walking especially in the highland of Scotland.

The National Trust is seeking permission to build and install a new ladder up the Bowder Stone in the Lake District.

Located in Borrowdale, the huge boulder has been a tourist attraction for over a century.

The aim of the National Trust is to get enable more non-climbers to reach the top of the stone by creating a metal ladder.

A spokesperson for the charity said: “The 9.3m- [30ft-] long ladder will replace one made on site in the 1980s of local timber.

“For the first time, it will be made of metal, to a design that restores the excitement of a climb and descent, and the slender, airy, profile of the original ladder.”

Chris Brammel a local Cumbrian architectural and sculptural metalworker will make the ladder. It will incorporate feedback from the local climbing community as well as the Lake District National Park Partnership and the local planning authority.

Harvery Wilkinson who is a National Trust curator said: “We’re restoring the excitement of a visit to one of the strangest and once most famous Lake District attractions.

Bowder Stone - large andesite lava boulder

“Once we have planning permission Chris Brammel can start work. We expect the new ladder to be in place next spring so there’s now a rare opportunity to take a photo of the stone without its ladder.”

The Bowder Stone, is a huge rock, roughly six times the height of a person and is estimated to weigh around 1,253 tonnes. It is commonly understood that the rock would have fallen from the crags above after the last ice-age and coming to its rest at its current improbable angle.

The Bowder Stone was bought back in 1910 by the National Trust using money from public subscriptions and since then it has been their responsibility for the care and conservation of the boulder.

A spokesperson for the trust said the Bowder Stone is a good example of how the Lake District landscape has been changed by humans. “In its heyday, the stone would have been seen for miles around, as depicted by artists and photographers of the day,” the spokesperson said. “It is now surrounded by woodland that is a site of special scientific interest.”

Now I can’t see any downsides to this, it makes it safer, allows more people to enjoy the summit and makes memories for future generations.

In fact, if someone created a Go Fund Me page to help with funding I would definitely contribute as it will help bring more people to the wonderful Lake District.

If you are in the region, I would highly recommend you take a detour and visit the stone and make take a photo or two.

As winter takes hold in the Highlands, experts are urging hikers in Scotland to prepare for their trips to the mountains.

A campaign called ThinkWinters aim is simple. To increase the awareness of hazards faced by people exploring the Scottish Highlands this winter. Whether they are hikers, climbers, hillwalkers, mountaineers or anyone heading out to the hills this winter.

The campaign was the a co-operated idea from seven different organisations. Its target audience is aimed both at experienced hikers and those heading for the winter hills for the first time and have less experience.

The campaign is using a combination of social media and traditional methods to spread the messages on safety and making it safer for people to explore the hills this winter.

It all kicked off last weeked at the Scottish Mountain Rescue annual conference at Glenmore Lodge and culminates at the annual launch of the Sportscotland Scottish Avalanche information service this Friday.

Those involved in ThinkWinter are mountain safety including Scottish Mountain Rescue, Mountaineering Scotland, Glenmore Lodge, the Association of Mountaineering Instructors, SAIS, the Mountain Weather Information Service and Police Scotland.

A spokesperson for  Mountaineering Scotland said: “Winter has well and truly arrived in Scotland’s mountains and thousands of enthusiasts will be taking to the hills for mountaineering, ice-climbing and snowsports touring, making the most of a season that for many offers the best mountain experiences of the year.

“But the rollcall of accidents over the years underlines the extra hazards faced during the winter season and the need for those going into the hills to ensure they have the necessary experience and equipment and have made proper preparations.”

Topics covered will include raising awareness of the challenges involved, planning, navigation, being prepared for weather and avalanche hazards, and what to do in an emergency. While some of these seem basic – everything is a little bit more difficult in snow.

Mountain safety adviser with Mountaineering Scotland, Heather Morning said: “Scotland’s winter mountains offer some truly magical experiences, but they be gnarly and challenging.

“If you want to get the best out of your mountain adventures then you have to be sure you are properly prepared and have all the skills required.”

Principal at Glenmore Lodge, the national outdoor training centre, Shaun Roberts said: “Successful adventures this winter will require well informed decision making.

“Front-load your activities with some quality time spent assessing the critical information: mountain weather, avalanche forecasts, underfoot conditions, the nature of the terrain.

“Understand your own motivations for your trip to the mountains and find like-minded people to experience them with, ensuring an open dialogue about your plans, you capabilities and equipment.”

Vice chairman of the Scottish Mountain Rescue, Kev Mitchell said: “We would always encourage people to enjoy the hills in winter. However, it’s absolutely vital that you are prepared.

“Leave earlier to get back earlier because of the lack of light, and adapt your day to the conditions. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and kept in a warm place, and not used for navigation.

“Mapping software for phones is great but it eats up batteries, especially in winter conditions.”

One of the coordinators of the Scottish Avalanche Information service, Mark Diggins said: “As the winter season begins we should start to prepare for the normal challenges that we will be faced with in Scotland’s mountains.

“Getting good information helps any mountain enthusiast decide where to go and what to do. Avalanche reports and other useful information can be obtained from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, and the Met Office, and MWIS websites.”

While this is campaign is being run to make Scotland and specifically Scottish Highlands safeter to explore, the advice can be used wherever you are planning on winter hiking this year.

Don’t forget to purchase essential winter clothing, while the weather might seem ok or good when you set off it can quickly change. Make sure you are prepared.

If you are heading for example to the Lake District – you can get a daily update on current snow conditions before you set off, allowing you to either change your route or pack different equipment.

There are many ways to be prepared and to make it a much safer experience for both you and the mountain rescue teams.

If you are heading to Snowdonia over the coming months, then mountain rescues are warning hikers and climbers of a potentially hazardous boulder.

A large stone block on the slopes of Tryan was spotted by mountain rescuers during a recent incident on the east face of the mountain.

Member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was called out on Saturday to help with two hikers who were stuck near the bottom of North Gully. The pair had been aiming for the safer route into Little Gully but missed the path and had to be brought to safety by rescue team members

It was during this time that the team members noticed a large boulder just below the junction of the two gullies, which they estimated to weigh about four tons.

Ogwen Valley Snowdonia National park North Wales UK

The large stone block is perched on rocks and solid above Heather Terrace and North Gully. It is thought a heavy rain storm may have eroded some of the soil.

Both the National Trust, which owns the mountain and the Snowdonia National Park Authority have been altered by the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation.

North Gully and Little Gully combine into a scramble route that can be used to ascent and descent the East Face of the mountain and emerges close to the summit of the North Ridge.

With bad weather forecast they are worried about the large rock sliding down the mountain any further and hurting someone. There is no immediate threat to life – it’s just a warning to be careful and observation if you are in the area.

The boulder and debris from an earlier fall in the Western Gully. Photo: Chris Lloyd/Ogwen Valley MRO
The boulder and debris from an earlier fall in the Western Gully. Photo: Chris Lloyd/Ogwen Valley MRO

It follows a similar sized boulder which earlier this year rolled down the opposite side of the mountain. That rock left marks on the footpath on the Western Gully during its 75m fall down the hill.

I don’t want to stop you heading to the area, in fact while I haven’t visited for a few years I have quite a few great memories from the area – its a lovely place to hike and explore.

I just want you to do it safely.

A man scrambling in the Lake District had to be airlifted to hospital after falling.

He was on Cam Crag in Langstrath on Saturday and in a party of four when the incident happened.

The man slipped and fell between 3m and 4m injuring his lower leg when tacking a ridge on the Crag, south of Stonethwaite.

Of the party then climbed to the top of the Cam Crag to get a phone signal while the rest of the party used a group shelter to protest the injured man from the elements. The day was cold, wet and windy so the shelter came in very handy.

The Coastguard helicopter and rescuers at the scene. Photo- Keswick MRT
The Coastguard helicopter and rescuers at the scene. Photo- Keswick MRT

There was no indication that the man had done anything wrong, or had the wrong gear – it was just an accident.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was called out about 1.10pm after the alarm was raised.

A spokesperson for the team said: “The first Keswick MRT members arrived at the scene and due to the location and nature of the injury requested a helicopter evacuation.

“The casualty was then packaged and flown to the Cumberland Infirmary.”

The 3¾-hour rescue involved 17 volunteers from the Keswick team, along with the crew of the Coastguard helicopter.

I do love my job, but if I had to give up my current job I think this might be one I would swap it with.

The first of December marks the start of meteorological winter but more importantly means the strat one of the most unusual but in my opinion the coolest seasonal jobs in the whole of the UK.

The job runs until April and between then and now one of the Lakes Districts National Parks specialist felltop assessors will make the daily climb to the summit of Helvellyn to asses snow and ground conditions and produce a daily report for outdoor enthusiasts.

Helvellyn is the third highest mountain in England.

The services which are run by the national park authority is there to provide vital safety information for everyone heading to the lake district over the winter months. The three members are Graham Uney, Zac Poulton and Jon Bennett, their reports are published on the Weatherline site and on twitter. The service predates the internet and started over 31 years ago as a telephone service.

Mr Uney said: “This is now my fifth year as a felltop assessor and each season I have to pinch myself as I really do believe I’ve got one of the best jobs in the world.

“Although Helvellyn isn’t the highest peak in the Lake District its east-facing position means that it’s often in better winter condition than our higher fells.

“It’s also the busiest, most popular mountain in the Lakes during the winter months, so it’s important that we give detailed ground conditions reports from here throughout the season to keep walkers, climbers and skiers better informed. Our service will make sure that people can get an extremely accurate ground conditions report of what to expect on our highest fells, backed up with the latest Met Office weather forecast.”

It’s not just ground conditions that the three guys will be producing, they will be giving regular hints and tips, guides on keeping safe on the mountains, essential winter backpack items as well as some of the views of the mountains over the coming months.

We have covered a few times on here, but recently hikers have been getting rescued from avoidable situations by not following the advice given by professionals.

A member of Wasdale Mountain Rescue, Richard Warren advises that traditional navigation using map and compass is essential in winter conditions. Richard is also the chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association so he sees a lot of walkers who go out ill-prepared.

While he doesn’t say to avoid using GPS technology, he says it’s best not to rely solely on mobile phone technology to navigate the Lake District.

He said: “If you’re planning a trip to the mountains this winter we urge you to plan your day. When there is snow on the tops an ice axe and crampons are essential pieces of kit and know your limitations. If you’re unused to navigating in the dark, it can be extremely disorienting.

“Sometimes, the bravest decision is to turn around and go back. Those peaks will still be there another day. “

It is not just the weather service that the felltop association offers. They also offer s one-day specialist winter skills courses to help prepare those attempting some of the higher summits as well as sharing their knowledge of winter hiking.

The courses which are geared towards adults who want to learn more about how to deal with the extreme weather conditions that the British winters can throw up.

The courses teach essential winter mountaineering skills like how to use crampons and ice axes correctly as well as advice and guidance on essential kit for winter trekking. You can accompany one of the felltop assessors on his duties. It’s a real hands-on type of course.

Trekking in the snow is so much different to hiking at any other time of the year, the course teaches you key navigation skills to help climbers identify safe routes as well as identify landmarks in the snow.

On this year’s inaugural event, the three men were joined by two members of the public, who learnt firsthand to hike safely during the winter months once the snow starts to fall.

For this year’s inaugural assessors’ ascent, the three men were joined by two members of the public who learned first-hand how to winterise their approach to walking once there are snow and ice on the fells.

Darryl Ramage and friend Lynne Morrison were the winners of a national park competition, selected from more than 1,000 entries to accompany the felltop assessors on their season launch and take part in a private winter skills course.

Mr Ramage, from Dumbarton in Scotland, said: “We’re frequent walkers in the hills and mountains of Scotland have been all over Europe on expeditions. From Germany to Poland to Slovenia to Italy but we’ve never been lucky enough to climb in the Lake District so we are realising a lifetime ambition today.

“We’ve been following Weatherline for the last couple of weeks and were celebrating the first fall of snow on the fells, it’s a fantastic resource to make sure you get an accurate idea of the weather and conditions on the fell tops.

“Although we are both quite experienced climbers we are by no means experts so we are absolutely delighted to be learning from the best today.

“We’ve picked up a lot of safety information and numerous hints and tips. It’s been great. We can’t wait to get back to the Lake District soon to put our new skills to good use.”

The Lake District Weatherline is partly funded by sponsors Columbia and Petzl and George Fisher.

Mountain Hardwear sponsors the clothing, while Petzl provides the mountain equipment.

So if you are thinking of heading to the Lakes this winter, we would highly recommend you do, if you think its beautiful in the summer – wait till you have seen it in the winter. It’s like a different place, even familiar routes change.

Just make sure you check the weather forecast and pack accordingly.

We have covered recently a few stories recently about people being under-equipped or not have the knowledge to be safely out in the hills, but this one is just a case of getting lost in poor conditions.

This can happen to the most experienced of hikers when the weather changes quickly.

Rescuers were dispatched to help two walkers who had got lost on the side of one of Yorkshire’s three peaks.

The Cave Rescue Organisation received a call from police after a woman called to report herself lost in the poor weather on Pen-y-Ghent Side on the north-west slopes on Sunday. The

Rescuers went to the aid of two walkers who got lost on the flanks of one of Yorkshire’s Three Peaks. It is the smallest of the three peaks at 964m (2,277ft).

The team was called out around 11:40 am.

The woman had set out to climb Pen-y-Ghent with another friend but due to bad visibility became ‘misplaced’ according to a spokesperson.

“Despite a poor signal, the police control staff were able to get a location for the caller before losing the call,” the spokesperson said.

“A small team was dispatched to locate the walker, and as they approached the reported position, they came across her, with a companion, making their way towards Hull Pot.

“They were none the worse for their experience, and were escorted back to their car at Horton in Ribblesdale.”

There are things which can be done to reduce the need to call for help, knowing the route, having a backup route, taking the right gear, knowing that it gets dark pretty early this time of the year.

It was only last week we share a warning about not ditching vital gear to save weight, but if you need to call out the Mountain rescue then its pretty straightforward.

Call 999 – ask for the Police and then Ask for Mountain Rescue.

Things to help make it easier for them to find you:

  • knowing your exact location – obviously, if you are lost you won’t know your exact location, but if your calling due to someone being ill or injured then this info can be very useful
  • The route you were planning on taking, while they can use your phone signal to try and locate you this just puts you in a
  • Before call making note of important information like:
    • Number of people in your party,
    • if an accident details of the injured party, name, gender, age, nature of injuries
  • Once you have made the call – DO NOT change your location unless instructed by Mountain rescue – they will be using your phone’s location data as a point to aim for.

Remember if you dial 999 and your phone can’t connect to your network but another network is available it will try and connect.

I always carry one of these with me – it might be old, but the battery life is just amazing.

Remember there is no shame in calling in for help, while I personally have never had to do it if I was in danger I wouldn’t think twice about making the call.

After all, that’s why these great men and women volunteer to help people in distress – if they weren’t there I probably wouldn’t explore as many new places as I do.

Now if people go under-equipped or without basics like a map and compass I can see it must get frustrating for them, but if you are ever in doubt just make the call.

We do like to cover other topics on here apart from, rescue news and we do want you to go and explore our great country. We just want you to do it safely.

On Sunday, four rescue teams combined to help find two walkers lost in the Peak District.

The walkers were attempting to climb the Peak Districts highest hill – KInder Scout. As some who has climbed this many times, it’s a nice little hill to climb, learning to fell run around the area but I have also been on the top when its been waist deep in snow.

The couple called 999 on Sunday when the night began to fall and they became ‘navigationally challenged’.

The Edale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted at 5:50 pm.

A team spokesperson said: “Questioning from the duty controller was inconclusive and an attempt to locate their mobile phone was also unsuccessful.

“Unfortunately the clag was down meaning helicopter support was going to be limited at very best and so we, therefore, had to do it the old-fashioned way and the Kinder Plan was triggered.

“This is where the four teams that surround the plateau deploy on a pre-arranged search pattern, the objective of which is to cover all the key areas of the hill with the maximum personnel in the quickest possible way.

“This well tried and tested plan quickly located the couple via flashes from their lights below the western edge path in the area of Broad Clough.

“The pair were walked down and reunited with their transport allowing all the team members to return home at a relatively civilised hour in the evening.”

So if you are going out this winter and while the weather is still nice, please remember the sun does set quite early at this time of the year and the weather can change quickly.

Also, don’t leave essential equipment at home to lighten your bag, it seems obvious but a that’s was a warning from a Mountain rescue team recently.

Map and Compass are essential skills, you can’t rely upon Sat Navigation devices or phones when outside and it triggers the age-old debate about whether these skills should be taught in schools.

I personally learnt in the cubs and Scouts all them years ago, but joining the scouting movement isn’t for everyone and others don’t find their love for walking till they are an adult, but learning to read a map is essential if you are heading out to the hills.

I am open and honest – I use a Sat Nav device for walking, it’s pretty cool, tracks my route etc, but I would never really go out hiking without a map and compass – even in an area I am pretty comfortable with like Kinder Scout.

Following on from the recent comments from Wasdale Mountain Rescue team about Scarfel Pike isn’t a playground for the inexperienced, now rescues from the Yorkshire Dales are warning walkers against leaving vital safety gear out of their rucksack to save weight.

Two lost Yorkshire Three Peaks challengers who failed to pack a map and compass (basic equipment in our opinion) had to be rescued from the mountains by the Cave Rescue Organisation.

They we’re out on Sunday and had to call 999 after getting lost in the dark for over two hours. The men aged 21 and 27 left the summit of Ingleborogh heading for Hrton in Ribblesdale but got lost.

According to the rescue team, they said police enquiries suggested the men were actually on the path leading to Clapham, between Gaping Gill and Trow Gill.

A spokesperson for the rescue team said “An online PhoneFind search by a CRO controller confirmed this.

“In order to save weight, they had left critical kit – compass, map, second light, second phone – at home, relying solely on a smartphone app.

“When the duty controller rang them, they had only 7 per cent battery and a single, fading headtorch. Otherwise, they were well equipped and at least they stayed put as instructed.

“A small team from CRO drove up to Trow Gill, walked up to where they could see the torch, then escorted the pair to a team Land Rover. They were driven down to CRO base and waited in the New Inn, for a friend to drive them back to Horton.”

If you are heading out onto the hills this winter (and we wouldn’t want you not too) just make sure you have the right equipment.

The basic equipment needed for a one day hike should include enough water, food, map, compass, head torch, spare clothing, waterproof clothing.

Please do go out and explore our hills this winter, just make sure you do it safely. The wonderful rescue teams have no problem coming to your aid if it’s genuine – its when the incidents can be avoidable that frustrates them.

If you are after a new winters jacket, check out our recent articles on men winter jackets or women’s winter jackets.

Englands highest peak isn’t a playground for the inexperienced, especially this time of the year, mountain rescuers have warned.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue team has said is getting worrying the increase in the number of avoidable incidents on Scafell Pike, coming after the latest incident when two people got caught out on the hill in the dark.

The key word is “avoidable” they have no problem if it’s a real emergency they have no problems, but inexperienced people are taking to the hills when the weather is turning.

The pair had set off at 3pm with no navigation equipment or torches.

Team spokesman Richard Warren said it was: ‘a classic example of a totally avoidable situation where two young adult walkers can drive up to the Lakes that day, arriving at 3pm and set off for the summit when the clocks have just gone back.

“At 5pm it’s getting dark and at 6pm with only the light from their mobile phones they are lost and on very difficult ground near the summit of the highest mountain in England.”

The Wasdale team was called out by police at just after 6pm after two walkers rang 999.

Mr Warren said: “The team leader used smartphone technology to accurately locate their position but they did not have the map, the compass and torches or the skill and experience to make their way safely down, avoiding the danger areas.

“Due to the situation and the potential for injuries descending with just mobile phones, the team leader had no choice but to mobilise the team: two in the control room back at base and seven team members on the hill for a four-hour rescue.

“It is of great concern to the Wasdale team that this type of situation is becoming more and more frequent.

“Many teams across the Lake District are struggling to understand the lack of thought and consideration for the volunteers who go out in all weathers, day and night at any hour.

“The Wasdale team has dealt with nearly 100 callouts so far this year including five fatalities.

“We need to get the message across that Scafell Pike is not a playground for the inexperienced walkers who believe that setting off at 3pm to climb the highest mountain in England with inadequate equipment is a sensible thing to do.”

So if you are planning on heading to the hills this winter, make sure you are experienced or with someone who is experienced.

With snow starting to hit the hills as well, make sure you have decent clothing and footwear on.

Don’t let us stop you from hitting the hills this winter, the opposite actually, it’s amazing how much the hills and the countryside changes across the different seasons. We just want you to do it safely. It’s worth reading instructions on the details needs when calling Mountain Rescue.

Happy Hiking.