Date of Incident

07/02/2018

Country

Scotland

Area

Route

Incident

We were on a mountain in Scotland, near Ben Nevis with work completing our annual winter skills trip.

I was lucky to be in the more advanced class even though I had never ice climbed before.

I had shoes that were 3 sizes too big (Work provided them and told me to wear thicker socks) and my ice axe had no strap. We had hardly any training on how to prevent falls. My leads were only winter mountain guides.

The ascent was amazing, and I quickly learnt how to lead. However on the descent all went wrong.

On the final steep part I was told to just walk down the slope. All my safety equipment was removed. As we walked down the snow below crumpled and I started to slide down. My ice axe arrest failed and because I had no strap the ice axe fell out my hand.

I fell 200m and suffered some nasty ice burns, swollen knees and back problems I struggle with to this day.

Lessons

Trust your gut instinct and make sure the leaders are in their remit.
Just because it sounds fun it isn't worth risking your life.

Activity

Winter climbing

When

Descending

Injury

Minor injury

Causes

Slip, trip or fall, Inadequate equipment, clothing or footwear, Leaders out of remit

Anonymous?

Yes

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

No

Rescue Services Involved?

For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills

All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss.