Scotland

Climber found reading map after 1,000ft fall

  • 30 January 2011
  • From the section Scotland
Adam Potter
Image caption Adam Potter's rescuers found him standing up reading a map

A climber who fell 1,000ft (305m) down a mountain and survived was found by his rescuers standing up reading a map.

Adam Potter, 36, lost his footing at the summit of Sgurr Choinnich Mor near Ben Nevis and plummeted down the near-vertical eastern slope.

Lt Tim Barker, from the helicopter rescue crew, said: "It seemed impossible... he must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell."

He said Mr Potter, from Glasgow, was shaking from "extreme emotional shock".

Lt Barker, the Royal Navy's Sea King helicopter crew's observer, said: "We began to hover-taxi down the slope and spotted a man at the bottom, standing up.

"We honestly thought it couldn't have been him, as he was on his feet, reading a map. Above him was a series of three high craggy outcrops.

"It seemed impossible. So we retraced our path back up the mountain and, sure enough, there were bits of his kit in a vertical line all the way up where he had obviously lost them during the fall.

"It was quite incredible. He must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying."

The helicopter, from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was already airborne on a training exercise when it was scrambled to the scene just after 1430 GMT.

A paramedic was winched down to check the climber over. He appeared unscathed aside from some superficial cuts and bruises and a minor chest injury.

Lt Barker added: "He is lucky to be alive. It's hard to believe that someone could have fallen that distance on that terrain and been able to stand up at the end of it, let alone chat to us in the helicopter on the way to the hospital.

"Really an amazing result - I have to say, when we got the call and realised the details of where he'd fallen, we did expect to arrive on scene to find the worst-case scenario."

The climber was walking with three friends who had reached the summit when the accident happened.

He is being treated at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital for non life-threatening injuries.

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