Two men plunged 1,300ft from the highest mountain in the UK, and miraculously survived


One man escaped with minor injuries, the other suffered broken bones. However, both men survived the horror fall. Rescuers believe that the weather saved their lives.

Two climbers survived an almost 1,3000-foot plunge on Britain’s highest mountain. It is believed that the rising temperatures kept them alive.

Rescuers said that one of the men was able to walk away with minor injuries, while his pal suffered broken bones from the latest Ben Nevis incident. “very lucky”.

The two friends, who are yet to be identified, landed on soft snow, where there had been potentially fatal hardened ice just days before.

Samuel Crawford, 28 years old, tragically lost his life due to a similar freeze-thaw incident on March 8.

They were both roped together while they plunged in Green Gully at 4413ft.

One of the men miraculously survived with only minor injuries. The other suffered multiple broken bones.

Over 15 members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were involved in the five-hour operation that took place on Saturday.

They were about 4000 feet above the peak when they fell.

Donald Paterson, the deputy team leader for Lochaber MRT said: “The two men were extremely lucky.

“The snow was no longer as icy after recent temperatures rose.

“In a certain way, the change in weather saved them.

“So they landed on soft snowfields or else they wouldn’t have been alive.

“Falling that height a few days earlier in the harder conditions would have killed them almost certainly.

“One chap was lucky to walk away unscathed. The other man was severely injured.

“They fell something like 400 metres (1312ft). It was quite a fall so the soft snow saved them.”

These men were in their 30s. At least one was from Manchester.

John Stevenson of Lochaber MRT said that the Inverness coastguard search and rescue helicopter was able inclines a number of members of the team into Coire na Ciste. Here we were able treat and package the injured climber and then winch him to a location where he could be transported to hospital.

“We wish the casualty all the best in his recovery. He had a lot of broken bones,”Stevenson.

“We would continue to advise people to be well prepared and take extra care in the conditions.

“The past weeks have seen mutual assistance in Glencoe, Lochaber between us and our sister Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team who have been very busy.”

The body of a hillwalker who went missing in Glencoe was recovered at the weekend.

Neil Gillingham, 43, from Kilmarnock, was the seventh death on Scotland’s mountains in just over two weeks.

He was last seen near the summit of 3632ft high Stob Coire Nam Beith while on a planned trek in Glencoe.

Despite extensive searches, he had not been previously found – though his spaniel Cooper was recovered safe and well.

The discovery came after Mr Crawford from Newtownards, County Down, plunged 1000 feet to his death on Ben Nevis during a day when more than 20 other people – including a group of soldiers – needed rescuing from the UK’s highest mountain.

Two of the soldiers were treated in hospital for minor injuries.

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Mr Crawford is a devout Christian and he was married 18 months ago. His wife is currently expecting their first child.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team has had 13 calls since Saturday, and now has recovered 28 casualties.

Police Scotland appeals to mountaineers and hill users to plan ahead and to take extra precautions after the spate fatalities.

Police Scotland Mountain Rescue Coordinator Inspector Matt Smith said: “The onset of spring has brought some more settled weather patterns and a welcome increase in daylight hours.

“We urge anyone who plans to venture out into the great outdoors to exercise caution.

“Challenging winter conditions still prevail in the hills with large areas totally covered in snow and ice.

“It is essential to be aware of the risks involved in your activity, your experience, and the weather conditions at your destination. You should also ensure that the right equipment is available to help you navigate safely on steep or icy terrain.

“Make a plan, don’t be afraid to adapt and make sure you think about what to do if things go wrong.

“You can dial 999 to get emergency assistance in the mountains.