Winter Storm Kills One Climber, Strands 23 Others on Ben Nevis

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on GearJunkie.

A 28-year-old climber fell more than 300m while attempting to summit the U.K.’s tallest peak on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. He was declared dead at the scene.

According to eyewitness reports, the man fell from around 1,000m up the 1,345m Scottish mountain Ben Nevis. Officials have not yet disclosed his identity.

Civilian rescue attempt leaves 23 stranded

Fellow climbers attempted to rescue the fallen man but soon became stranded when a fast-moving winter storm front and heavy winds moved in.

A contingent of Army personnel climbing nearby came to the climbers’ aid and issued an emergency call-out, prompting an 8-hour rescue mission.

Forty responders from the Lochbar Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) and helicopter rescue were dispatched to the mountainside. They attended to and successfully evacuated 23 civilians and soldiers from the scene.

Officials caution against unpredictable winter weather

Tuesday’s recovery and rescues are just the latest in a wave of recent incidents on Ben Nevis. Lochbar MRT told the BBC that it had responded to 12 call-outs between March 5 and March 8 — three of which involved fatalities. A total of six people have perished in the Scottish mountains since the beginning of March.

Scottish authorities advise people to exercise great caution when venturing outside during the winter and early spring.

“Challenging winter conditions still prevail in the hills with large areas totally covered in snow and ice,” Inspector Matt Smith, Police Scotland mountain rescue coordinator, said in a statement. “Often, these areas are completely unavoidable, and snow may be rock hard with a high likelihood of a fall unless crampons and an ice axe are carried, and most importantly, the group has a knowledge in how and when to use them.”

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.


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