Plea to walkers after third incident in four days on Ben Lomond

Walkers have been urged to make sure they’re not caught out by wintry conditions after a  mountain rescue team was called to three emergencies within four days on Ben Lomond’s Ptarmigan Ridge.

Yesterday (Tuesday) a total of 22 members of Lomond Mountain Rescue were involved in a seven-hour operation to help walkers who had become cragfast.

A hillwalker died after falling in the same area on Sunday and after the latest incident a statement from the rescue team said: “Conditions remain challenging with hard ice and snow on the ridge and mountaineering equipment, and skills, are still vital despite more benign conditions lower in the glen.”

The three walkers rescued yesterday were practising for charity walk later in the year but were said to be ‘inexperienced and under equipped for the winter conditions they found higher on Ben Lomond’.

One of the walkers had suffered a minor injury – when she returned to her friends they became uncomfortable on the steep icy slopes and called Police Scotland who contacted Mountain Rescue at 3.32pm.

The team started ascending the ridge an hour later but darkness was falling and cloud cover meant a helicopter could not be used.

Rescuers met the group near the summit at 6.25pm and helped them down to a safer location where they were warmed in a group shelter, given additional clothing, hot drinks, food and heat packs.

At 7.12pm, after equipping the walkers with microspikes and assigning them team guardians, they were assisted down the Ptarmigan path back to Rowardennan – the first arriving at 9.45pm and the remaining two at 10.35pm.