Highlands & Islands

Comedian Ed Byrne helps injured walker in Cairngorms

Ed Byrne's tweet Image copyright Ed Byrne
Image caption Ed Byrne tweeted after the end of his two-day walking trip in the Cairngorms

Comedian Ed Byrne has helped an injured hillwalker in the Cairngorms.

Byrne was at the end of a two-day walking trip with adventure and outdoor writer Phoebe Smith when they came across Josh Bratchley on Tuesday.

Mr Bratchley twisted a knee when his right leg went through a snow drift on his way to the remote Corrour Bothy.

Byrne gave him his walking poles and accompanied him to another bothy. Mr Bratchley, an experienced mountaineer, said he was grateful for the help.

Irish stand-up comedian Byrne and Ms Smith, author of The Book of the Bothy, were in the Cairngorms for an article Byrne is writing for a forthcoming issue of The Great Outdoors Magazine.

Image copyright Ed Byrne/Phoebe Smith/The Great Outdoors
Image caption Byrne bagged his 80th Munro during his visit to the Cairngorms

After the trip, Byrne, whose TV work includes appearances on Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, tweeted: "Awesome couple of days in Cairngorms. Knocked off three Munros from Corrour Bothy and even helped an injured walker get to safety. Feeling smug."

Byrne, a long-time hillwalker who bagged his 80th Munro on his walk in the Cairngorms, told BBC Scotland News: "It's not a tale of derring-do and hanging off the end of ropes.

"I helped Josh by carrying his rucksack which, to be fair to him, was heavy with the amount of provisions he was carrying for his own trip.

"I gave him my lighter sack."

Image caption Comedian Ed Byrne is an experienced hillwalker

Mr Bratchley was carrying enough wood and coal for an overnight stay at Corrour Bothy, and to leave behind for others who would be using the shelter after him.

He said: "My foot went through the hard surface of a snow drift and into the soft snow below and my leg got stuck. Because of the rucksack I lost my balance."

Byrne and Ms Smith, who were passing, asked if he was "okay".

At first, Mr Bratchley had felt little pain and thought he could carry on to Corrour Bothy, which was a shorter trek than one back to where his car was parked and where he could safely rest before deciding on whether he could walk further.

However, his leg became more painful and he decided to catch up with the pair for some company off the hill.

Damaged ligaments

He said: "I was hoping the conversation would take my mind off my sore knee. Ed swapped his rucksack for mine.

"When I first spoke to Ed I didn't notice who he was.

"But after I caught up with him the second time and they had introduced themselves I said to him that he looked familiar and I asked if we had met before in Scotland, or in the Welsh hills where I do a lot of walking.

"He then told me I might have seen him on TV and it was after that it clicked who he was."

After resting up for a night at Bob Scott's Memorial Bothy, Mr Bratchley was able to get back to his car and home.

Following his mishap, doctors have told him he has damaged ligaments and cartilage.

Hillwalkers looking after one another was praised by a mountain rescue team in a separate incident earlier this month.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team congratulated two young mountaineers who saved the life of a hypothermic walker.

The pair realised the man, who was walking alone, was in difficulty about two kilometres from the summit of Ben Macdui in the Cairngorms.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team said they had "virtually carried him for two or three kilometres".

Mountain rescuers were then flown in by helicopter to help and the casualty was given medical treatment.