Highlands & Islands

Missing skiers dug snow hole to survive night in Cairngorms

Coastguard image of skiers Image copyright MCA
Image caption A coastguard image of the skiers after they were found on Wednesday morning

Two back country skiers who were missing overnight in snow and freezing temperatures in the Cairngorms have been found safe and well.

The pair got lost in poor visibility on the Cairngorm Plateau on Tuesday.

They dug a snow hole to shelter overnight and were found just south of Ben Macdui when the search resumed on Wednesday morning.

The skiers were airlifted to Glenmore Lodge, near Aviemore, by the Inverness coastguard helicopter.

They had managed to send a text to one of their family members asking them to raise the alarm after they realised they were lost when night fell on Tuesday.

Image copyright Cairngorm MRT
Image caption Several rescue teams and Inverness Coastguard helicopter were involved in searches for the skiers
Image copyright Cairngorm MRT
Image caption A member of Cairngorm MRT in a tracked vehicle on Cairn Gorm mountain during the search effort

Cairngorm, Glenmore Lodge, Braemar, Aberdeen and RAF Lossiemouth mountain rescue teams were involved in the search operation.

The initial search effort on Tuesday was carried out in challenging conditions, which included whiteouts and deep snow. Cairngorm MRT said the effort was also hampered by there being a lack of information on where the skiers might be.

After the skiers were found, Cairngorm MRT said: "A happy conclusion this morning with yesterday's navigationally challenged ski tourers located after a cold night out in a snow hole on the plateau."

Image copyright Cairngorm MRT
Image caption The search was launched on Tuesday after the skiers failed to return from their trip