Highlands & Islands

Climber dies after Ben Nevis fall

Ben Nevis Image copyright Reamonn Lenkas
Image caption The climber died after falling on Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis

A climber has died after falling on Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said the man had suffered fatal injuries in the fall on Saturday morning.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter from Inverness was diverted from training and arrived on the scene at about 11:10 BST.

The climber was airlifted from the mountain and transferred to an ambulance at the Torlundy helicopter landing site near Fort William.

The rescue team praised the helicopter crew for recovering the man from a "very difficult location" on the mountain.

Tower Ridge is one of several big ridges on the north-east face of the 1,345m (4,413ft) Ben Nevis and is considered by many climbers to have an Alpine feel because of its length and exposure.

A spokeswoman for the Coastguard said the operation had taken about two hours.

Image copyright Bristow Helicopters
Image caption A Coastguard rescue helicopter airlifted the man from the mountain

In a post on the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team's Facebook page, a spokesperson for the team wrote: "We are sad to report that a call out yesterday was to a climber who suffered fatal injuries sustained in fall while climbing Tower Ridge.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends."

"A big thank you to R951 who did a fantastic job to make the recovery from a very difficult location and all the climbers who assisted and brought down the climber's friend."

Twenty people died in the Scottish mountains last year, according to Mountaineering Scotland.

Three of the fatalities were on Ben Nevis, including the deaths of Rachel Slater and Tim Newton, who were killed by an avalanche on the mountain in February 2016.

More than 100,000 people are thought to reach the summit of the UK's highest mountain each year.