Second avalanche rescue as 'full on winter' returns
A climber has been airlifted to hospital after being injured in an avalanche in the Cairngorms.
The man injured his leg while climbing in Garbh Choire, Braeriach, on Saturday afternoon. He was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment.
Braemar Mountain Rescue team warned that "full on winter conditions" had returned to Scotland's mountains.
It was the second avalanche of the day, with three climbers rescued from Ben Nevis earlier.
The climbers are being treated at Belford Hospital in Fort William. Their injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.
Three Coastguard rescue helicopters were used to help find the Ben Nevis climbers and take them to hospital.
HM Coastguard said it had scrambled a helicopter from Inverness for the second rescue of the day at about 18:30.
Braemar and Aberdeen mountain rescue teams were also called out to help the man on the 1,296m (4,252 ft) Braeriach.
Following the rescue, the Braemar team posted a warning on its Facebook page that heavy snow in the mountains had brought an end to the prolonged mild spell.
The post said: "Team called out tonight after a report of a climber having been avalanched in the Garbh Choire, Braeriach.
"Thankfully Coastguard Rescue 951 got into the area and uplifted the injured male who had sustained a leg injury, thanks once again guys. Cheers also to Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Team for responding.
"Take care out there people, it's full on winter conditions, please read forecasts and pick your route."
The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, which was involved in the Ben Nevis rescue, also posted a warning about the wintry conditions, saying: "A lucky escape for three climbers avalanched on the north face of Ben Nevis this afternoon.
"With 30cm of fresh snow and more falling, the avalanche risk is considerable - plan carefully if you are heading out."
Mountaineering Scotland said people needed to be particularly aware of the risk of avalanche after the snowfalls of the past two days.
The organisation's Neil Reid said: "People have been very understandably frustrated by the lack of good snow and ice conditions this winter, but the sudden arrival of large quantities of fresh snow - particularly if it's wind-blown - brings its own dangers.
"It doesn't mean you should necessarily stay away from the mountains, but careful choice of route is paramount.
"Our advice to anyone heading for the mountains is to pay very close attention to the avalanche information and forecasts provided by the Scottish Avalanche Information Service"