Climber Dies From 1,000-Foot Fall on Ben Nevis

by Amy Myers

Rescue teams hurried to Scotland’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis, when they received a call about a climber who fell 1,000 feet. Unfortunately, the 28-year-old man died from his injuries. Just before medical personnel arrived, several other climbers tried to help the victim.

The Coast Guard rescued a total of 17 people from Ben Nevis on Wednesday. Members of Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams received the call at 2:15 p.m. local time. The main concern was the fact that one climber fell a great height and two others became injured while trying to assist him. Also, a part of the equation were several members of an Army group, believed to be from the Edinburgh area.

Despite the massive rescue effort, the area wasn’t experiencing any extraordinary weather. In fact, Donald Paterson, the deputy team leader of the Lochaber team, stated that the conditions on the mountain were “classic Alpine – springlike in the glen but above the snow line everything is solid and an ice axe and crampons are essential, and knowing how to use them.”

But even when the weather is predictable, there is a fair amount of risk involved with scaling Ben Navis.

“The snow fields are glazed over with ice and are quite lethal,” he said.

Almost 40 rescuers hurried to the 4,413-ft mountain to either airlift the involved individuals or walk them off the hill to safety.

“This chap had fallen conservatively about 300 metres,” Paterson said. “Then others went to help him and they, too, ended up in trouble.”

Ben Nevis Rescue Personnel Explains How ‘One Slip’ Can Turn Fatal

While Paterson assured that conditions yesterday were typical for Ben Navis in the springtime, there were still some difficulties that posed as extra obstacles for the climbers as well as the rescue teams.

“The conditions last night were very difficult – as well as the ice there were very strong winds and rain. The helicopters did an amazing job,” he said.

He continued, “One slip and you will go a long way.”

Still, he believes that there is a chance that the involved rescuees could have done more to prevent the life-threatening situation.

“Members of the party could have been better prepared for the conditions,” he said.

The two individuals that tried to help the deceased man were members of the Army.

According to Paterson, “One had a broken ankle and another multiple abrasions.”

Thankfully, these two are recovering in the hospital. As for the third victim, Paterson extended his condolences to the man’s family and friends.

As of right now, officials don’t suspect foul play.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a full report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal,” Paterson said.