Two hillwalkers die, two found safe

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The Independent Online

Two hillwalkers missing overnight in mountains in snowy weather were found alive by rescuers today. The men were plucked to safety by a helicopter whose crew spotted them in Strath Nethy Valley in the Cairngorms, in Scotland.

But tragedy has struck in the Lake District, where two walkers have died in two days after going out in icy conditions.

In the Cairngorms, the two rescued men were flown to safety and werelater described as safe and well. .

Concerned family members raised the alarm last night when the men, aged 22 and 29, failed to return from their walking and climbing trip in the area.

Members of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team carried out initial searches in the area last night, but poor conditions forced them off the hill.

Members of Strathclyde Police Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), who are training in the area, were also involved in the search today, along with 21 members of Cairngorm MRT, 10 from RAF Kinloss MRT and four search and rescue dogs.

They were searching in the Coire Cas, Coire Na Ciste and Coire Raibert area of Cairngorm.

An RAF rescue helicopter also helped, and located the men at around 11.15am.

The men are believed to be from the Inverness area. They were heading home to recover from their ordeal.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team leader Willie Anderson told BBC Scotland: "We believe that one of their girlfriends sent them a text saying 'Dig a snow hole and stay put', so that's more or less what they did.

"They didn't get a snow hole dug but they got out of the wind behind a stone and when daylight came they started to make their own way off.

"It would have been a long, long walk out for them today due to the conditions so we're pleased that the helicopter picked them up."

One of the men, 29-year-old Marcus Scott, works as a chef at Aviemore Highland Resort. His 22-year-old companion from the Inverness area did not want to be identified.

In the Lake District, a body believed to be that of a missing 60-year-old man was found today, Cumbria Police said.

The lone walker failed to return to his vehicle at around 9pm last night.

The unnamed man, who is believed to be from Windermere, had gone walking in Great Langdale and failed to return to his green Volvo car.

A search involving the RAF and local mountain rescue teams was mounted last night, and resumed this morning.

A Cumbria Police spokeswoman said: "The body of a man has been located by a mountain rescue team 50 metres below Climber's Traverse on Bowfell.

"His body has been taken to the West Cumberland Hospital and his family have been informed."

She said police have yet to formally identify the man.

The police spokeswoman also revealed that a man in his 60s who fell 300 feet at Pavey Ark in Great Langdale yesterday died after being airlifted to hospital.

She said conditions on the fells were "icy and cold".