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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 18:13 GMT
Ski deaths teen a 'wonderful boy'
Peter Wilson (Pic: Copyline Scotland)
Peter Wilson worked with his father and Mr Ross at LifeScan
The mother of a teenage cross-country skier who froze to death along with a friend on a Norwegian mountain has described him as a "wonderful boy".

Peter Wilson, 18, from Drumnadrochit, and Jim Ross, 50, from Evanton in the Highlands, were caught in bad weather.

Mr Wilson's father Rupert, 47, was in a stable condition in hospital after suffering severe hypothermia on the trek through the Hardangervidda region.

The three men worked together at a medical devices firm in Inverness.

Tributes have been pouring on to an internet site set up by Peter Wilson from friends and also people who knew him at school.

'Very supportive'

His mother Kirsten said her family had been "devastated" by the weekend's events.

She also praised the efforts of Norwegian rescuers for saving her husband.

"My son was a wonderful boy and was looking forward to the holiday," she said.

"I would like to use this opportunity to thank everybody in Norway who have been very supportive.

"I would also like to thank the Red Cross who rescued him - they saved my husband's life."

They were heading for a hut, a cottage, and they got lost. It was very foggy weather, it was snowy and windy
Oddvar Nordfonn
Bergen police

Rupert Wilson, a former regimental sergeant major with a Territorial Army medical unit in Dundee, was found buried in the snow. He was frozen, unconscious and discovered next to a ski track by a Red Cross team on a training exercise.

The bodies of the other two men were found in the snow nearby.

The three men began their trek through the western Hardangervidda region on Friday.

Hardangervidda is Europe's largest mountain plateau and is home to thousands of reindeer and a large national park that is a popular tourist attraction.

Conditions at the time were described as cold and foggy.

Matt Robinson, from Yorkshire, who met the party while on the same trek, said he turned back because of the weather.

He said: "The weather was that bad you could not map read as such.

"We were following these marked trails. They are all marked out with sticks."

Rescue teams in Norway
Norwegian rescuers came across the survivor by chance

Mr Robinson said the three men were struggling on slowly and one of them was wearing the wrong kind of skis. He said the man had the biggest rucksack he had ever seen.

They had probably only completed 5km of their 20km trek when Mr Robinson saw them on his way back.

"It did not seem like they contemplated turning round to be honest," Mr Robinson said.

LifeScan Scotland, which manufactures products for diabetics, confirmed the three men were employees at its plant in Inverness.

A spokeswoman said: "Everyone at LifeScan is deeply saddened by the news that three people who work with us were involved in the skiing tragedy in Norway over the weekend.

"Our primary concern is the support of the families and our employees at this difficult time."

'Mentally in shock'

Oddvar Nordfonn, of Bergen police, said the group had got into difficulty as they made their way towards a mountain cottage.

"They were heading for a hut, a cottage, and they got lost. It was very foggy weather, it was snowy and windy," he said.

He added that the survivor was taken to hospital by helicopter while the bodies of the dead men were driven by car to the hospital.

Rupert Wilson was suffering from hypothermia but was slowly warmed up "in a medical way".

He is now in a good physical condition but is "mentally in shock", Mr Nordfonn said.

Bernt Apeland, of the Norwegian Red Cross, said the trio may not have had the equipment to deal with the "changeable" weather.

He said: "Of course it was very strong and harsh weather and I don't think they were properly equipped for that kind of weather.

"The terrain is not very challenging but the climate is very changeable and that's what you need to look out for in that kind of area."

The party was accompanied for part of the journey by two Norwegian skiers who made it safely to Kjeldebu before the weather deteriorated.

Aslak Braatveit, one of the Norwegians, said: "We could never imagine they were going to continue after the weather changed. It was getting much worse."

Mrs Wilson thanks the Norwegian rescue services

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