‘Weather could be a fac­tor’ as three hill walk­ers die in a week

The Oban Times - - News - AMANDA CRAW­FORD fort@oban­times.co.uk

THREE men have died in just one week on the hills of Lochaber, a record for the area in the sum­mer months.

On the morn­ing of Fri­day Au­gust 7, Lochaber moun­tain res­cue team (LMRT) were alerted to an in­ci­dent at Carn Mor Dearg Arete, Fort Wil­liam.

Steven Fogg, 56, from Aboyne, had been walk­ing with two friends when he plum­meted around 400ft. He was air­lifted to Belford hos­pi­tal where he later died.

The fol­low­ing morn­ing a search was launched by po­lice, LMRT, and Glen­coe moun­tain res­cue team af­ter a 60-year- old man from Berk­shire failed to re­turn from a walk in the Grey Cor­ries on Fri­day evening.

The hill walker was found dead in a river around 3pm on Satur­day hav­ing ap­par­ently slipped and fallen in the Coire Choim­lidh area. His fam­ily have been in­formed.

The two make the num­ber of fa­tal ac­ci­dents on the hills up to three last week.

The Oban Times re­ported last week that the body of 60-year- old Ian Bell was re­cov­ered dur­ing a search last Mon­day.

Team leader, John Steven­son, re­sponded to the call- out on Fri­day, but was off duty on Satur­day morn­ing.

He said: ‘We have had three in a week. Although it is not a reg­u­lar oc­cur­rence, it is sad. We still have two men miss­ing and we have put in a lot of man hours this sea­son to look for them.

‘There have been an in­creased num­ber of calls from peo­ple who are in a bit of trou­ble. There have been a lot of sprained an­kles and gen­eral slips and trips. Many peo­ple have had nav­i­ga­tional er­rors. These were a big con­tribut­ing fac­tor in the win­ter and usu­ally hap­pen when the clouds are low and the weather is poor.

‘It can re­sult in peo­ple los­ing their way and the weather has been bad lately.’

Lochaber area in­spec­tor, Don­ald Camp­bell, has is­sued a state­ment to peo­ple in the area and to those vis­it­ing who wish to walk or climb in the hills around Fort Wil­liam.

He said: ‘Three fa­tal­i­ties in one week is unique and un­for­tu­nate, but there have been no sim­i­lar­i­ties in the three cases. I think the weather could be a fac­tor as the sum­mer tends to be bet­ter for climb­ing, but we have had a poor sum­mer this year.

‘Never un­der­es­ti­mate the task you are un­der­tak­ing. Make sure you are pre­pared with ef­fi­cient equip­ment and climb­ing wear when you are tak­ing to the hills. They are daunt­ing.’

LMRT has seen 93 de­ploy­ments this year al­ready, a fig­ure that the team has never reached in the first eight months of a year.

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The Grey Cor­ries where a man slipped and died at the week­end

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