Scottish Daily Mail

Rescued, man who climbed a mountain in his f lip-f lops

Tourist ‘wanted to see snow’

- By Mike Merritt

LYING on a stretcher, amiably chatting with rescuers, this injured hillwalker is obviously delighted help has arrived.

But what this picture doesn’t show is his chosen footwear for a day on the snowy slopes of a 4,006ft mountain – a pair of flip-flops.

He was one of three men, believed to be overseas tourists, who triggered an alert on Aonach Mor, Inverness-shire, earlier this week. When members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue arrived to help the man, who had slipped and injured an ankle, they were stunned to find he had been wearing flip-flops – while one of the other men was barefoot.

The casualty was stretchere­d to the gondola lift and then on to a waiting ambulance which took him to the Belford Hospital at Fort William. His condition is unknown.

The rescuers, who were called out at around 5pm on Wednesday and returned to base at 8pm, said they were ‘amazed’ at the men’s attire. Team l eader John Stevenson said: ‘ The men said they had come to Scotland to see the snow and went to explore a snow patch in the Goose area. One of them will certainly have a painful reminder of it. We were amazed at their choice of footwear. Even a standard pair of trainers is better than flip-flops or sandals.

‘People really need to wear the right shoes. It is still wet in places on the hill and ironically the chap who had bare feet was probably better off than his companions.

‘We see all sorts but having flip-flops is asking for trouble and that is exactly what this lad found.’

Snow lingers in mountain corries l ong i nto the summer and it is thought the men had travelled up the hillside on the gondola lift in order to see it.

Mr Stevenson said: ‘We found them 20 minutes from the top of the gondola, which the staff kept open for us to get up. The were on the grass.

‘They said they wanted to stand on snow in Scotland. We don’t know if they actually did. The grass was wet enough to have an accident, especially in flip-flops.

‘We told them next time they come back to Scotland to stand on snow, wear something more appropriat­e – like a good pair of boots. They said they were sorry for “all the fuss”.’

Two weeks ago the Mountainee­ring Council of Scotland warned that there were still dangerous snow beds and cornices – ledges of overhangin­g snow – on Ben Nevis and other Scottish mountains.

 ??  ?? Relieved: The man, who injured an ankle, chats with rescuers
Relieved: The man, who injured an ankle, chats with rescuers
 ??  ?? Easy does it: He is carried to safety
Easy does it: He is carried to safety
 ??  ?? Danger: Aonach Mor still has snow
Danger: Aonach Mor still has snow

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