A climber has died after falling more than 1,600ft on the UK’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. The man was climbing the Scottish mountain with a fellow climber from Cardiff University Mountaineering Club, who miraculously survived the same plunge with just a couple of broken bones.
The pair, in their 20s, were scaling Tower Gully on the mountain’s North Face and were going through a cornice – an overhanging ledge of snow – near the top when it collapsed on them.
Donald Paterson, deputy leader of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, told the Scottish Sun: “The cornice snow was soft and had no real purchase so it started moving. It just collapsed on them as they came through the cornice. The snow was not enough to bury them but large enough to carry them down the mountain. They must have fallen 1,640ft – one walks away with a few cracked ribs, and the other sadly loses his life.”
Around 30 members of Lochaber MRT were sent after the alarm was raised at 2.30 pm on Sunday. Mr. Paterson and a fellow rescuer reached the pair before the Coastguard search and rescue helicopter.
Paterson added: “They were both sat in the snow when we found them. The one chap had suffered a very serious head injury. His climbing partner had raised the alarm by mobile phone. CPR was administered in the helicopter to the badly injured lad, but sadly he could not be saved. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends over this tragic loss of a young life.”
It was the third mountain death in the Highlands within four weeks.