Thursday, 3 March, 2005
Search finds lost
climbers have been found safe and well two days after going missing in
"ferocious" conditions in the Cairngorms.
Amos, 57, who works for Edinburgh Council, and Marek Horecek, 30, a
professional climber, disappeared after an ascent on Shelter Stone Crag.
were among 80 climbers taking part in a British Mountaineering Council
international six-day event.
men found shelter in a bothy before being spotted by an RAF helicopter.
were flown to the outdoor training centre at Glenmore Lodge, where they
will stay throughout Thursday.
climbers told BBC Scotland that they had become disorientated after
completing one of the area's most challenging ice climbs.
digging a snow trench on Tuesday they had to wade through waist-high snow
on Wednesday to reach the bothy.
Amos said: "I wasn't really worried because we knew we were going
down to the river and we knew that the river would gradually slope down to
the bothy, so we knew we would get there eventually.
had water and we knew we could survive on water. Luckily the bothy had
hasn't put me off climbing, it is just another day of experience."
Constabulary said the climbers may have walked about 20km and found the
River Avon, before following it down to Faindouran Lodge, a bothy on
banks of the river.
were able to shelter and eat in the bothy and were spotted by the
helicopter crew from RAF Lossiemouth at about 0720 GMT on Thursday.
Lieutenant John Sheldon, who piloted the helicopter, said it was "a
very straightforward job".
overflew a bothy and two walkers came out waving their arms. We landed and
our winchman went out and had a chat with them.
ascertained they were our missing walkers and that was it. We picked them
up and took them to Glenmore Lodge," he said.
the fact they were out for two nights, the climbers were in very good
search for the men had been hampered by white-out conditions which
initially prevented a helicopter from aiding the ground search.
of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team set off at first light on Wednesday
and were joined by the international climbers in the search.
Police and Braemar Mountain Rescue team had tried to reach the men on
snowbikes, but the snow was too deep.
Lodge principal Tim Walker said: "The power of nature is greater than
all of us and, whilst these climbers were very experienced, very strong
and completed one of the hardest technical climbs in the Cairngorms,
Scotland's weather at its worst is ferocious.
on the Cairngorm plateau in some of the conditions we had on Wednesday is
as difficult and challenging as navigation can get.
even the most experienced climbers would find those conditions very
Walker said the climbers were looking forward to a hot bath and a rest.
trying to get them to have a rest now and all the delegates have returned
here after assisting the search," he said.
seminar continues until Saturday and we don't anticipate losing anyone