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Mountain safety warning after two hillwalkers found dead on same day

One man died after plummeting 1000ft from Ben Lomond and the other was found dead on Cruach Ardrain.

Cruach Ardrain mountain near Crianlarich Creative Commons Pic by Andrew Smith from Geograph  Uploaded on March 19 2015.
©Andrew Smith Creative Commons licensed for reuse Cropped

Two hillwalkers have died after getting into difficulties in two separate incidents in west central Scotland.

The incidents were among numerous call outs for mountain rescue teams over the weekend, prompting mountain leaders to issue safety warnings.

The body of a 34-year-old man was recovered from Cruach Ardrain near Crianlarich after he failed to return to his accommodation on Saturday.

The alarm was raised just after midnight and a rescue operation was launched on Sunday morning.

Members of the Killin mountain rescue team, Forth Valley police and a search and rescue helicopter were sent to the 3432ft mountain but the man was discovered dead at around 10am.

A member of the mountain rescue team sustained a back injury during the search and had to be airlifted to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. He was later discharged.

On the same day Lomond mountain rescue team and a navy search and rescue helicopter were called out to Ben Lomond after a 28-year-old man sustained serious injuries.

The walker plummeted almost 1000ft from Ptarmigan Ridge on the north west of the 3200ft summit, landing in Leac na Cailliche.

Rescuers reached the scene, on the opposite side of Loch Lomond from Tarbet, at around 11.50am but the man died on the mountain.

A police spokesman said: "Police in Forth Valley were called to Ben Lomond at on March 15 following reports of concern for a person.

"Emergency services attended and a man was pronounced dead at the scene."

Police confirmed they are not treating either death as suspicious and reports will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Lomond mountain rescue team were called out five times over the course of the weekend.

The incidents have prompted fresh warnings over mountain safety from industry leaders and the police.

Forth Valley Area Commander Paul Rollo said: "Our sincere condolences go to the families and friends of the walkers and we are urging, alongside our colleagues in the mountain rescue team, for people to be cautious when navigating difficult or unknown terrains.

"Please ensure you are always prepared by checking the weather beforehand, take the proper equipment and dress appropriately for the conditions."

Heather Morning, mountain safety adviser for the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, reminded those heading for the hills that condition are still hazardous and specialist equipment is essential.

She said: "With the days getting longer and warmer, people start to get more enthusiastic about the idea of getting out there in the mountains, but they should remember that it’s just March and conditions in the mountains can be as fierce as they are at any time in the winter.

"Those who restrict their hill walking to the summer months will be itching to get going but you need to be patient and go with the weather and conditions in the mountains, and not how it feels in the lowlands."

Ms Morning urged walkers and climbers to check the Mountain Weather Information Service and the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service before heading out.

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