A man was killed after falling almost 1,000ft as he climbed Ben Nevis in “ferocious” conditions.
Two others are in hospital after rescue teams raced to Scotland’s highest mountain to assist 17 people down from the peak yesterday afternoon.
Police confirmed a 28-year-old man was killed following a near 1,000ft fall.
Two others, aged 27 and 29, were treated for minor injuries after being rushed to hospital.
Others from an Army group, believed to be from the Edinburgh area, also got caught up in the rescue mission.
In total, 17 people – including the dozen military personnel – were either airlifted off the 4,413ft mountain by coastguard search and rescue helicopters or walked off the hill by some of the almost 40 rescuers who went to their aid.
Members of Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams – together with police – were scrambled to Ben Nevis after the alarm was raised at around 2.15pm on Tuesday.
Donald Paterson, the deputy team leader of the Lochaber team, said the conditions on the mountain were “classic Alpine – springlike in the glen but above the snow line everything is solid and an ice axe and crampons are essential, and knowing how to use them”.
He said: “This chap had fallen conservatively about 300 metres.
“Then others went to help him and they, too, ended up in trouble.
“One had a broken ankle and another multiple abrasions. As the night wore on, the conditions got worse.
“Members of the party could have been better prepared for the conditions.
“We would like to express our condolences to the deceased’s family and friends.”
The eight-hour operation was sparked after the man plunged to his death at Red Burn on the west side of the mountain.
He and his party, not members of the Armed Forces, had been descending Ben Nevis after reaching the summit.
Brian Bathurst, deputy team leader of Glencoe MRT, described the conditions as “ferocious”.
“The snow fields are glazed over with ice and are quite lethal,” he said.
“One slip and you will go a long way.
“The conditions last night were very difficult – as well as the ice there were very strong winds and rain. The helicopters did an amazing job.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 2.15pm on Tuesday, 8 March, police were made aware of concerns for a number of people in difficulty on Ben Nevis.
“Emergency services and mountain rescue colleagues attended to assist 17 people off the mountain.
“We can confirm that a 28-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene, whilst a further two men, aged 29 and 27, were treated for minor injuries in hospital.
“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and a full report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
The fatality was the third death in the Highlands in less than a week.
An Army spokesperson said: “A small number of soldiers provided support to stranded walkers on Ben Nevis on Tuesday.
“They assisted the party until emergency and mountain rescue services were able to reach them.”
They confirmed two soldiers sustained minor injuries during the descent and were later treated in hospital.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission.