Mountain rescuers warn hillwalkers against using mobile phones for guidance

Rescuers who helped two walkers in “exceptionally windy” conditions have revealed the mission was the third in a row where those involved had no map or compass.

Members of the Cairngorm and Braemar mountain rescue teams were scrambled on Tuesday evening, after two people were reported missing near Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms.

Willie Anderson, the leader of Cairngorm mountain rescue team, said searchers had to cope with 100mph winds and poor information from the missing walkers.

He said the pair had parked their car and set off for Ben Macdui, using mobile phones for guidance, but had decided to turn back when they were unable to reach the mountain.

Mr Anderson said they “must have done a 180-degree turn again” as they tried to make their way back, before being found by members of the Braemar team at about 11pm on Tuesday, six hours after they had been reported missing.

Mr Anderson told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “That’s the third rescue we’ve had in a row on Ben Macdui where no-one in the group has had a map or compass, and given the publicity that it gets we just can’t understand why folk think they can venture up there using a mobile phone.

“Police control had some contact with them intermittently and they were trying to give descriptions of where they were, but none of it made any sense to us or the Braemar team, who also had a group out looking for them.”

Asked if this caused frustration for searchers, he said: “That one was beginning to get to us, there is only so much you can do with very limited information.”

He added: “Our guys were up in the dark last night, the wind was a steady 70mph… really early on it was 100mph. So they were quite keen to get off the hill.

“We do get big winds, Cairngorms is known for it, we were just lucky last night there wasn’t any snow with it. It was warm enough last night. Had the temperatures gone down we would have been really concerned.

“It was very, very difficult because they had no map and no compass.”