Climbers lucky to sur­vive Ben Ne­vis avalanche

The Oban Times - - News -

RES­CUE teams were scram­bled in Lochaber last Satur­day fol­low­ing an avalanche on Ben Ne­vis.

Po­lice re­ceived a call about an in­ci­dent around mid­day on Fe­bru­ary 4 which was an­swered by res­cue he­li­copters from HM Coast­guard and Lochaber Moun­tain Res­cue Team (LMRT).

To­gether, the teams res­cued three in­jured climbers who were then taken to the Belford Hospi­tal in Fort Wil­liam.

Lochaber Po­lice con­firmed the climbers, who are not lo­cal, sus­tained cuts, bruises and in­jured ribs, but John Steven­son, from LMRT said they were un­be­liev­ably lucky.

He told The Oban Times: ‘Any­one who walks away from this kind of in­ci­dent is be­yond lucky. It’s the rocks which do the dam­age, the ones which are un­cov­ered. I think they bounced down the hill quite some way. The fact that there had been some fresh snow is prob­a­bly what saved them.’

With more snow and dif­fi­cult weather con­di­tions fore­cast, Mr Steven­son says he would strongly ad­vise peo­ple to have a good think be­fore head­ing out on a climb this week­end.

He added: ‘It’s prob­a­bly about the worst con­di­tions up there right now. Look­ing for­ward, there is go­ing to be a lot of fresh snow, mean­ing poor snow and poor vis­i­bil­ity.

‘Check­ing the fore­casts and plan­ning routes ac­cord­ingly is al­ways key, but I would say peo­ple should maybe plan al­ter­nate routes if they are head­ing up and only do so if they re­ally know what they are do­ing.’

John Steven­son from Lochaber Moun­tain Res­cue Team said the three climbers had a lucky es­cape.

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