Man cuddled dog to stay alive in blizzard in Cairngorms

Media caption,
The Labrador cross and its owner stayed together for warmth

A snowsports enthusiast survived subzero temperatures in blizzard conditions in the Cairngorms by cuddling his dog to keep warm.

The splitboarder had become disorientated and cold on Saturday.

The man, who is from the Edinburgh area and raised the alarm on his mobile phone, was well equipped and got inside a survival bag with his Labrador cross.

Members of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team found them and escorted them to safety.

Al Gilmour, of Cairngorm MRT, said the man and his dog would have been unlikely to have survived the night out in a "real blast of Scottish winter" conditions.

The man had become disorientated in the Cairngorms near Aviemore in snow and 40mph winds.

He was using a splitboard - a type of snowboard that can be separated into two ski-like sections.

Cairngorm MRT faced a challenge in pinpointing the man's position as the first phone call he managed to make was "garbled" and did not have a strong enough signal for the team to get a location.

Mr Gilmour told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We had a few teams going in from different directions to sort of attempt a pincer movement to try and search for him.

"A second phone call came in and because of that we got a position and then we could send people directly to him."

Image source, Cairngorm MRT
Image caption,
Members of Cairngorm MRT during the rescue effort

There was a risk of avalanches in the area the man and his dog were found in and the team had to carefully escort them from there to the safety of the Cairngorm Mountain ski area.

Mr Gilmour said the man was "very well-equipped" and had everything he should have had for his trip.

But Mr Gilmour added: "Unfortunately the conditions were too much for him.

"He hadn't drank or eaten enough and got very cold and this affected his decision making and ability to use a map and compass.

"He had exceptionally cold hands and opening his jacket pockets had become difficult.

"He had a survival bag and he got into that with the dog and shared heat until we came and found them.

"For both of them that companionship had a positive influence in keeping them warm."

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.