Ben Nevis: Climber dies in horrific fall from 2,000ft after avalanche

FORT WILLIAM, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: Rescuers continue the search with the help of a Coastguard helicopter for two experienced climbers who went missing on Ben Nevis in Fort William, Scotland on February 17, 2016. Bradford climbers Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, had been climbing over the weekend but were reported missing on Monday. (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

The hikers attempted to scale one of the mountain’s canyons (Image: Getty Images)

A climber has been killed and another injured in an avalanche on Scotland’s highest mountain.

The 49-year-old man was hiking on Ben Nevis when he and another 42-year-old man fell nearly 2,000 feet off the north face of the 4,413-foot mountain yesterday.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other climber survived the dizzying fall but sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Belford Hospital in Fort William for treatment around midnight today.

The pair were among a group of four that attempted the Number Two Gully, a ditch covered in unsafe, high-angled and overhanging snow.

Nearly 40 members of the Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams and a helicopter were dispatched after the other two hikers sounded the alarm.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue team leader Donald Paterson said it appeared the pair were “near the top and their weight caused a ledge (an overhanging snow ledge) to give way, triggering the avalanche”.

Lochaber mountain rescue service 1 hour ? The Police Scotland team was called in yesterday afternoon after being warned of an avalanche that had injured two. With limited initial information, Lochaber MRT, assisted by Glencoe MRT and R151, went to the area of ​​No.2 Gully where the two victims were located. Unfortunately, one had suffered fatal injuries and the other was seriously injured after a slide of (approximately) 600 meters. As the weather created some challenging conditions, the helicopter was limited to the support it could provide. This meant we had to extricate the injured longer and 8 hours after the initial call we took the injured to Belford Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. Our thoughts are with the families of the two involved these days. LMRT ?? -- https://www.facebook.com/lochabermrt/posts/pfbid023vExdHnCPJmDF4QpgqthQse8FQmaGLykBnkQq3WJpfWC5UXPita3rJDxZwiWQaYcl

Rescuers said the weather made it difficult to get to the site of the avalanche (Image: Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team/Facebook)

FORT WILLIAM, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 17: A view of the north ridge of Ben Nevis where rescuers with the help of a Coastguard helicopter resumed a search for two experienced rock climbers who went missing on February 17, 2016 in Fort William, Scotland . Bradford climbers Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, had been climbing over the weekend but were reported missing on Monday. (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)

Ben Nevis is Scotland’s highest mountain (Image: Getty Images)

“Because of the wind conditions, the helicopter couldn’t get in, so the teams found the couple on top of the snow and carried them off the mountain,” he said.

“They must have fallen 600 meters and the guy who survived was very lucky. Despite being badly injured, he dodged a bullet while his friend didn’t.

“Unfortunately, that is so often the luck of the draw. We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased at this difficult time.’

Speaking on Facebook, the Lochaber rescue team said: “Unfortunately one had sustained fatal injuries and the other was seriously injured after a slide of (approximately) 600 metres.

“As the weather created some challenging conditions, the helicopter was limited to the support it could provide.

“This meant we had to take longer to extricate the injured and 8 hours after the initial call we took the injured to Belford Hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

“At this point our thoughts are with the families of both involved.”

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At around 3.25pm ​​on Friday 30 December 2022 we received a report of two people falling into an avalanche near Ben Nevis.

“The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team was dispatched and a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

“A 42-year-old man was taken to Belford Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/31/ben-nevis-climber-dies-in-terrifying-2000-foot-fall-after-avalanche-18020010/ Ben Nevis: Climber dies in horrific fall from 2,000ft after avalanche

Justin Scacco

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