Busy weekend for local rescue team

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Eight members of the Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT) were called out to help hunt for two missing walkers on the Southern Upland Way early on Monday morning.

Joining forces with Moffat Mountain Rescue. the team were asked to join the search at 12.50am after the walkers had failed to reach their destination in Moffat and they were reported missing by family members.

The pair, from South Glasgow, had left Tibbie Shiels Inn at St Mary’s Loch earlier that day, but the heavy snowfall and deteriorating conditions made their walk more difficult than they had expected.

TVMRT member Dave Wright told us that the duo were well-equipped and were experienced, but the weather made the journey just too difficult.

He said: “When we set out it became quickly apparent just how serious the situation could be for the two guys.

“Two of our team were equipped with skis, which turned out to be helpful, as it was they who found the two sets of footprints, the only prints for miles.

“It told us we were in the right area, and they eventually found them at 5.20am just south-west of the bothy at Over-Phawhope – roughly 17km into their 21km walk.

“They were very tired and very cold, despite being well-equipped for their walk. They just seem to have underestimated the conditions.”

It was a tiring end to a busy weekend for the team, who had been called out at 8.40pm the previous evening in Edinburgh after members of the public said that they had seen a light flashing on or near to the top of Caerketton Hill in the Pentland Hills.

Eighteen team members made themselves available and carried out searches around the base of the crags to the West of the Hillend Ski Centre and over the tops towards Allermuir Hill.

Nothing was found on this occasion and they were stood down at 1.10am on the basis this was a “false alarm with good intent”.

Most of the team were then involved most of Sunday with the ‘Feel the Burns’ early season hill run that includes Peat Law, the Three Brethren, Brown Knowe and Foulshiel Hill, the profits from which was going to the TVMRT.

The team is made up of volunteers, so they were back out on their day jobs on Monday, after catching half-an-hour’s sleep.

However, Dave told us this was an exceptional weekend for the team, driven by poor weather conditions.