Jan 6 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
A STRANDED hill-walker was rescued from Ben Ledi on Monday.
Killin Mountain Rescue were called to the hill near Callander to help the stricken outdoors enthusiast , who has not been named.
The local man got into difficulties on the summit around 3pm, a situation which was quickly made worse by rapidly deteriorating conditions.
Rescue team coordinator Bill Rose said storm-force winds, blizzard conditions and waist-deep snow drifts made it impossible for the hillwalker to navigate safely off the mountain.
He said: “He built a snow hole to shelter near the Harry Lawrie Memorial Cross on the summit. We attended and advised him to remain at his known location until help arrived.
“Conditions were pretty difficult, due to the high winds and blinding snow. Our members wore snow goggles but they were icing up, making navigation difficult.
“It was the local knowledge of the team that succeeded.
“On reaching the hillwalker he was suffering from the cold. We gave him dry clothing and hot drinks to warm him up.”
Mr Rose said the man was able to make his way off the mountain with assistance and would suffer no long-term effects.
“The hillwalker did the right thing,” Mr Rose said. “He got caught out by the quickly changing weather conditions but stayed at a known point where he could be found and called for help.”
He urged hillwalkers and climbers to ensure they were equipped to deal with whatever the weather has to throw at them.
“Carry spare, dry, warm clothing, a survival bag or bothy, hot drinks, a map, compass, torch – and a spare – as well as an ice axe and crampons,” he said.
“I’d also ask people to check the mountain weather forecast before setting off and retreat as quickly as possible if the weather starts to turn.
“The current changeable weather, where temperatures are rising and falling quickly, is making the snow cover on many hills unstable.
“Not only does deep, fresh, snow slow people down but it creates a considerable avalanche risk on even the most moderate of slopes.”
Police were also called to the scene and conducted a search of the area.
Chief Inspector Kevin Findlater warned: “To go up the hills at this time of the year and not to be properly equipped or prepared for extreme conditions is inexcusable.
“It is playing with people’s lives and this should not be taken lightly.
“It took the mountain rescue team five hours to reach the man as conditions were poor.
“He was finally down off the hill 10 hours after the alarm was raised.
“This man had been complacent and took little notice of the approaching conditions.
“It is irrelevant whether people have climbed the hill numerous times or once.
“It’s just fortunate that this man was found safe and well.
“However, he has put his own life at risk and those of other people who were out looking for him.”