A group of walkers ascending Ben Lomond became cragfast on the steep, icy slopes of the Ptarmigan Ridge, nearing the summit, and contacted Police Scotland for the assistance of Mountain Rescue. The Team were called out at 3.32pm.
The trio were practicing ahead of a charity walk later in the year and were inexperienced and under equipped for the winter conditions they found higher on Ben Lomond. One casualty, climbing further up the ridge to assess the snow conditions, had a short fall on the ice causing a minor injury and soon returned to her friends, who were now very uncomfortable on the terrain they found themselves on.
The Team Leader was able to converse with the casualties by mobile and advised them to stay exactly where they were – assistance would be with them as soon as possible. Throughout the rescue reassurance and advice was provided by mobile phone. As Lomond MRT members ascended the ridge (starting at 4.30pm) darkness fell and the casualties became extremely cold – low cloud cover ruled out a helicopter extraction.
Voice contact was made with the casualties at 5.59pm and met the group, near the summit, at 6.25pm. Aided down to a safer location the casualties were warmed in a group shelter, given additional clothing, hot drinks, food and heat packs. Additional team members arrived at the location from 6.36pm and provided further vital assistance.
At 7.12pm, after equipping the walkers with microspikes and assigning them team guardians, they were assisted down the Ptarmigan path back to Rowardennan - the first arriving at 9.45pm and the remaining two at 10.35pm.
The #StandDown text was sent at 10.44pm. Twenty-two team members attended to the third emergency in this particular area of the Ptarmigan Ridge, on Ben Lomond in the past four days, one of which was sadly a fatality. Conditions remain challenging with hard ice and snow on the ridge and mountaineering equipment, and skills, are still vital despite more benign conditions lower in the glen.