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Police Scotland issue warning to hikers and climbers after spate of mountain rescues in the Highlands

By Alasdair Fraser

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Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team in action
Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team in action

Police are warning walkers and climbers in the Highlands to take proper precautions after a recent spate of mountain rescue call-outs.

Police Scotland issued the reminder after “a number of incidents” since the beginning of October where people became lost in fading light.

The force is asking the public to prepare for all eventualities and ensure they are fully equipped, including a torch and spare batteries.

A spokesman said police and Mountain Rescue Team volunteers had assisted people in remote and rural locations with inadequate skills and equipment to safely complete their route.

On Sunday at 6.20 pm this week, a man and teenage boy became lost in the Spean Bridge area and were walked safely off the hill with mountain rescue assistance.

A second call-out at 11pm that day saw a man and a woman lost in the Glencoe area without torches.

Twelve mountain rescue volunteers located the pair, who were walked to a safe area to be airlifted from the hill.

In both instances nobody was injured.

Mountain rescues are on the rise in the Highlands. Picture: Police Scotland.
Mountain rescues are on the rise in the Highlands. Picture: Police Scotland.

Inspector Nick Hough, based in Fort William, said: “The change of seasons as we move into the colder months with shorter daylight hours brings additional challenges to those going to enjoy the expanse of areas across the Highlands.

“We’d ask the public to be mindful of their own skills and experience, and always be prepared for all eventualities. It is crucial that you are prepared.

“Plan the route you are going to walk and consider whether it is safe and you have the ability to complete it safely; do not go beyond your ability.

“Scottish mountains by their very nature are extremely unpredictable so take precautions, plan ahead and be aware of, and have respect for, the Outdoor Access Code.

“If you do find yourself in need of assistance because of being lost, injured, or in an emergency when outdoors, then phone 999, ask for police then Mountain Rescue.

“You will be helped.”

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