Climber still on feet after 1,000ft fall

A CLIMBER who plunged 1,000ft down a mountain was found standing up reading a map by rescuers who could not believe he had survived the fall.

Adam Potter had just reached the summit of the 3,589ft (1,094m) Sgurr Choinnich Mor, around five miles east of Ben Nevis, on Saturday, when he lost his footing.

The 36-year-old fell down the steep and craggy eastern slope of the mountain, sparking a major air rescue operation.

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A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was already airborne for training and flew to the scene in the Scottish Highlands, arriving 35 minutes after the fall.

Mr Potter, from Glasgow, had been walking with three friends as part of a group of 24 climbers who pointed out the direction of his fall to the helicopter.

But the amazed crew found him standing up and reading his map when they reached the scene.

Lieutenant Tim Barker, the crew's observer, said: "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."

A paramedic was winched down to check Mr Potter, who appeared to be unscathed beyond some superficial cuts and bruises and a minor chest injury,

He was said to be "shaking from extreme emotional shock and the sheer relief of still being alive".

He is recovering in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow, where he was described as "doing fine".