Edinburgh man cuddled dog to stay alive in Cairngorms blizzard

A winter snowsports enthusiast lost in a blizzard survived by cuddling his dog for warmth as they waited to be rescued.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th March 2019, 6:18 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 6:28 pm
A snowsports enthusiast survived subzero temperatures in blizzard conditions in the Cairngorms by cuddling his dog to keep warm.
A snowsports enthusiast survived subzero temperatures in blizzard conditions in the Cairngorms by cuddling his dog to keep warm.

The man, from the Edinburgh area, dialled 999 after becoming disorientated in bad weather around 3,500ft (1,067m) up on Cairngorm in the Highlands at 5.45pm on Saturday evening.

A team of 23 from the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) were dispatched to the scene and found him huddling in a bivvy bag with his Labrador cross pooch when they reached him at around 8pm.

Willie Anderson, CMRT team leader, said: “The man was well equipped but the weather was poor and he was a bit overwhelmed.

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“It was really bad weather but we got to him. He was very cold, probably in the early stages of hypothermia.

“He hadn’t had a lot to eat so his energy was low. The dog helped keep him warm, the dog was absolutely fine.

“It was good that we got to him because he would have been in very poor condition by morning, there was a wind child of around minus 20C and it was a blizzard.”

The man was said to be well equipped and had checked information about avalanche risks. The mountain rescue team walked the man and his pet back down the mountain to safety, with neither needing medical treatment.

Willie added: “It is always a challenge to have to navigate in the dark in addition to snow and high winds.

“We’ve also got to be careful with avalanche slopes.

“Thankfully the man eventually got a good signal which meant we were able to identify his exact location on a grid reference. We were absolutely delighted with the outcome and really pleased that both the casualty and his dog are both safe and well.”

Last week a missing dog was miraculously spotted by helicopter crew after spending 48 hours lost in the Cairngorms.

Ben was out on his usual adventures when he became separated from his owners and as the storms set in they were devastated to have to abandon their search.

The Inverness Coastguard helicopter crew spotted Ben the cavachon by chance while they were out on a training exercise in the area on Wednesday.

The freezing cold pet was winched to safety from a narrow ledge with a terrifying 200ft (61m) drop below.

Crew members then reunited Ben with his worried owners Fiona and Ian Young from Culloden, near Inverness.

To thank the rescuers they decided to launch a crowdfunding page, which has raised more than £1,600.

Mrs Young said: We were overwhelmed by all the amazing people who volunteered to help you really kept us going through such a devastating time for our family. We are so grateful for all the amazing caring people in the world and the Scottish spirit!”