NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Body found in search for missing Lochnagar hillwalker

Lochnagar Image copyright Mark Farquhar
Image caption Conditions at Lochnagar have deteriorated since this picture was taken by pilot Mark Farquhar on Friday morning

A body has been found in the search for a hillwalker in Lochnagar.

Police confirmed a body was found at about 12:00 on Sunday after a search which started on Friday night.

More than 80 people were involved in the operation to find the 65-year-old who had been missing for two nights on the mountain in the Grampians.

Three mountain rescue teams, an RAF unit, search dogs and helicopter all resumed the search on Sunday morning.

Police said they believed the body was that of the missing man.

Insp Darren Bruce said: "Trained Mountain Rescue Teams have worked tirelessly and in extremely difficult conditions this weekend.

"It is sad to learn that someone has succumbed to the elements. Our thoughts are with family and friends at this time."

Earlier, police revealed that the hillwalker raised the alarm himself by phone on Friday.

He was sighted that afternoon on a path ascending Lochnagar but contact was lost that evening.

Insp Matt Smith, of Police Scotland, said: "We got a couple of phone calls through to him on the night but we've had very limited contact and we've had pretty much no contact since the night itself.

"The weather conditions up there were absolutely atrocious. A lot of the videos of what we were up against have appeared on social media in terms of the blizzards and the wind.

"The rescue helicopter was beaten back on the first night. Very, very difficult conditions."

Braemar Mountain Rescue Team said winds of 100mph were recorded nearby on Saturday.

Mountain rescue teams from Braemar and Aberdeen were joined by colleagues from Tayside.

Rescue volunteers from Cumbria who were training in the area have also been involved.

In a separate operation, two hillwalkers, in their 40s, who were also reported missing on Friday north of Blair Atholl were found safe on Saturday by a rescue helicopter.

Image copyright Rob Glendinning
Image caption The coastguard helicopter crew was hampered by bad weather

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