Hill walkers who seek the “rough and tough” of mountain expeditions even without the proper navigational devices must consider themselves warned.
Mountaineering experts have issued the warning after recent reports from a Northern constabulary indicated that a rescue team had to save 16 climbers who got lost while navigating the Scottish mountains.
The Grampian police, together with the Aberdeen and Braemar rescue teams, went to rescue them after the climbers called for help using their mobile phones.
Of the 16 climbers, 14 were lost in a fog on Monday on Ben Macdui and were rescued early Tuesday morning. The group lost direction after going on their hill adventure relying solely on a smartphone app for plotting their route.
Experts such as Kevin MacLeod, Acting Inspector at Aviemore Mountaineering Resort, advised that hill walkers should not rely merely on smartphone apps as the technology is not dependable enough for any mountain navigation.
While experts encourage people to get involved in mountain climbing, they emphasise the importance of being prepared for the adventure.
Simon Steer, Deputy Leader of Cairngorm mountain rescue team, said hill walkers must be properly equipped with the traditional compass and map or other navigational devices to ensure safe travel into the mountains.
Steer added that the advances in navigational aids such as the smartphone app do not completely guarantee a safe and risk-free mountain adventure. The device’s battery might not even last for a long period of time, which is one of many reasons it is important to make other preparations.