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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Saturday, 16 March, 2002, 10:02 GMT
Climbers rescued from Ben Nevis
Ben Nevis
A rescue team was airlifted onto the mountain
Rescuers have battled against atrocious conditions on Ben Nevis to lead five stranded climbers to safety.

The group were trapped on Tower Ridge on Thursday evening after gale force winds forced them to abandon their attempt on the summit.

The alarm was raised on Friday morning when one of the climbers used his mobile phone to call his wife.

At that point there were eight people trapped 3,000ft up on the ridge.

Medical checks

Three managed to get off the mountain at first light but the other five remained behind on the ridge waiting for help to arrive.

Ferocious winds, gusting at up to 60mph, forced a Royal Air Force rescue helicopter to turn back from the summit.

But the crew managed to airlift members of the Lochaber mountain rescue team to a halfway point on the mountain and they reached the climbers on Friday afternoon.

Rescuers said the group eventually made if off the mountain on Friday evening.

They were taken to Belford Hospital, in Fort William, for medical checks.

Winter route

Meanwhile, two climbers were caught in an avalanche on Liathach, Torridon, in Wester Ross, on Friday.

Gordon Smith, 24, from Applecross, Wester Ross, was had to be helped off the mountain by members of Torridon mountain rescue team.

He was taken to Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, with a suspected broken ankle. His friend was uninjured.

The two climbers had been attempting a winter route on Corieag Dubh Mor when they were carried down the hill by the avalanche.

See also:

10 Mar 02 | Scotland
Two climbers killed in avalanche
04 Mar 02 | Scotland
Ice screw saves climber's life
08 Feb 02 | Scotland
Climber hails 'heroic' companion
02 Jan 02 | Scotland
Lucky escape after mountain fall
21 May 01 | Wales
Climber saved by text message
07 Nov 99 | Scotland
Warning as climbers recover
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