Man dies and 17 rescued in ‘ferocious’ conditions on Ben Nevis

After a 28-year-old man fell down an icy slope at Red Burn, on the west side of the mountain, members of an army group went to his aid but ended up requiring multiple rescues themselves.

Seventeen people, including about a dozen military personnel, either were airlifted off the 1,345-metre-tall (4,413ft) mountain by coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Prestwick and Inverness or were walked off the hill by some of the almost 40 rescuers who went to their aid.

Members of Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams and a police mountain rescue team were sent to Ben Nevis after the alarm was raised at about 2.15pm on Tuesday.

Donald Paterson, the deputy team leader of the Lochaber team, said the conditions on the mountain were “classic Alpine – spring-like 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”.

Lochaber mountain rescue team said the past five days had been “especially busy”, with 12 callouts and 26 casualties recovered. “Unfortunately three of these shouts resulted in fatalities and we’d like to extend our heartfelt condolence to the friends and family of those involved at this difficult time.”

It added: “It would be remiss if we didn’t stress just how important it is to be adequately prepared for winter in the hills. Having the ability to competently navigate with map and compass as well as having and being able to use crampons and axe are vital skills to have if you’re venturing into the hills.”

Sadly, not all climbers go best-prepared … :009:

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Sadly, not all climbers have any common sense when it comes to going out in bad weather conditions.

Tragic but foolhardy. These people never to stop to think about the people (mainly volunteers) who have to step in and rescue them.

We get it all the time here on the coast too with lifeboats being launched to rescue families often with dogs who walk so far out and then get caught by the incoming tide. There are signs up warning people about fast moving tides, there are tide tables and still people ignore all that and just wander off. We have had many near fatalities especially when the light fades.

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So sad, a young man in the prime of life, my heart breaks for his mum

But what brave efforts to help him, people at their best

I know people are daft go ill prepared and put others at risk sometimes and I don’t know what more could be done to stop that and get them to understand the risks.

People just seem to ignore the information, signs and warnings and think it doesn’t apply to them

I suppose we’ve all been young and thought we were immortal

But there must surely be some way of getting the message across and legally stopping people setting off on ridiculous journeys in bad weather and unprepared?

As someone who hates the cold and high places I can’t think what makes anyone want to climb mountains especially in winter.

The thrill and excitement. I used to do rock climbing. My son does now. Not on quite the same scale as Sir Edmund Hillary you understand…