June 23, 2014
A tourist had to be rescued from one of Scotland’s highest mountains after attempting to climb the peak wearing flip-flops.
The walker and two friends were exploring 4,006ft Aonach Mor in Lochaber near Fort William to “see the snow” when he slipped and hurt his ankle on Wednesday night.
A team from Lochaber Mountain Rescue were called out and said they were “amazed” to see the casualty’s choice of footwear.
They reported that one of the injured man’s companions was bare-foot when they saw him and the other was wearing trainers.
Members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue stretchered the injured man to the mountain’s gondola lift and then on to a waiting ambulance which took him to the Belford Hospital at Fort William. His condition is unknown.
It is understood the trio had taken the gondola up the mountain – a sister peak of the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis – on Wednesday and then walked to the Goose area which still has pockets of snow.
Rescue team leader John Stevenson said: ‘We found them 20 minutes from the top of the gondola – which the staff especially kept open for us to get up. The were on the grass. We don’t know if they actually had reached the snow or were on their way back from it. There is still plenty of deep snow on the hill.
‘But they said they wanted to stand on snow in Scotland. We don’t know if they actually did. The grass was wet enough to have an accident – especially in flip flops.’
Mr Stevenson said his team were amazed at the group’s choice of footwear: ‘People really need to wear the right shoes. It is still wet in places on the hill and ironically the chap who had bare feet was probably better off than his companions’
‘One of our team members, John Macrae, actually hurled one of the flips flops and told the guy ‘that’s how much use they are on the hill!
‘He went and got it back for him but the bloke got the message. We believe they were from abroad and were tourists.
‘I know in some countries they wear flip flops to climb hills but we told them next time they come back to Scotland to stand on snow wear something more appropriate – like a good pair of boots.
‘They said they were sorry for ‘all the fuss.”
Despite the onset of summer, a snow warning was issued to climbers and walkers on neighbouring Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, and other Scottish mountains only two weeks ago.
But the Mountaineering Council of Scotland warned that ‘winter is still lingering on the roof of Scotland.’