Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team braves the weather to bring injured climber to safety in Chur an t-Sneachda


Mountain rescuers braved appalling conditions when an injured man had to be laid on a stretcher during an avalanche in a Scottish national park.

The Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) shared a video on their social media after being called following reports of two people falling in an avalanche.

The avalanche hit Chur an t-Sneachda in the Grampian Mountains, a popular climbing area southeast of Aviemore, in the early afternoon on Saturday December 4.

He trapped two climbers, a man and a woman, and the climber suffered a “lower leg injury”.

CMRT said the two “were able to save themselves to the coir floor, where they were greeted by team members and brought back on a stretcher to the Cairngorm ski area.”

The video, posted to CMRT’s Twitter, shows a team of rescuers stretching the man through the darkness and bloated snow to bring him to safety.

The mountain rescue team said on Saturday that there had been “several reports of avalanches in Chur an t-Sneachda” on Saturday afternoon.

A CMRT spokesperson said he knew “at least six or seven other parties that have been avalanches in this same area”.

“It was a period of very high avalanche activity for the start of the season,” they said.

Team leader Iain Cornfoot said: “It was tough work with the poor visibility and trying to find a route in the deep snow.

“The conditions were difficult to be able to evacuate someone on a stretcher, but it went well, the work ethic of the people takes over when you have difficult conditions like that.

“People are really impatient because it’s the start of the season so everyone wants to go out and climb. Conditions have changed from what was expected and people should also be aware of what to expect.

“The guys we spoke to said they saw red flags but kept going. This is difficult because these conditions are constantly changing and avalanches are difficult to predict.

“You have to be prepared to change your plans if what you see is not what you expected.

“Trust your instincts and don’t push a bad situation. The mountains will be there another day.

A Scottish Police spokesperson said: ‘At around 12.50pm on Saturday 4th December we received a report of two people falling in an avalanche in Chur an t-Sneachda.

“Officers and the Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team were dispatched, and the man and woman were later found at a nearby aid station.”