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Navigation problems lead to walkers getting lost on mountain

Posted 4 February 2013
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Navigation problems lead to walkers getting lost on mountain
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A pair of walkers got lost on a high Scottish mountain at the weekend - with a lack of mobile signal a key contributor to their problems.

The two were climbing the 3,822 ft peak in Breadalbane on Saturday (February 2nd) and were still on the mountain as darkness descended.

At around 16:15 GMT, the pair lost sight of each other and due to the poor signal, one of them was only able to contact the police using a text message.

Both walkers were helped out when Killin Mountain Rescue arrived and found both of them, but the incident may highlight some of the potential problems faced by walkers on high mountains, particularly at this time of year.

One of these is that the early sunsets at this time of year mean those not allowing enough time to get off the mountain before it gets dark can easily find themselves lost. One solution is to carry a torch, which can both help with navigation and enable individuals to signal their position to others.

Often, walkers setting out in pairs or small groups may not all carry Ordnance Survey maps, instead relying on the walk leader to have one, but if people get separated it means someone can end up without an important means of navigation.

The fact that some mountains do not offer good or consistent mobile phone coverage means using GPS on them to navigate can be risky, while the ability to contact emergency services may be compromised.

Stob Binnein is usually climbed in conjunction with its slightly higher neighbour, the 3,852 ft Ben More, with a high ridge linking the two mountains, the loftiest in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Anyone familiar with walking on them and trying to use a mobile phone to ring or text will be aware that the signal can come and go, often in the space of a few yards.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801533930-ADNFCR