A York businessman who suffered massive injuries when he plunged 200ft down the UK’s highest mountain has returned to the city to continue his recovery.
Rescuers said Nick Harper, 57, from Sheriff Hutton, was “lucky to be alive” after the terrifying fall on Ben Nevis last month.
Mr Harper had been climbing with two friends on a north face route known as The Cascades before he fell. He was airlifted to hospital after the dramatic rescue on January 14.
Despite hitting rocks and ice and being treated for a host of injuries including 14 broken ribs and a fractured skull, he is now said to be in “good spirits” in York Hospital after being transferred from Glasgow on Saturday.
Less than four weeks after dicing with death, the chairman of Waste Management Ltd in Sutton-on-the Forest, is expected to make a full recovery.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post after the accident, Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team’s leader, John Stevenson described the dramatic moment a member of his team saw Mr Harper fall down the mountain.
He said: “One of our own team members was climbing just across from him when he fell off. He immediately called us and we launched a full team search. The conditions on the hill were very icy.
“When he fell he hit rocks, snow and ice and hurt himself very badly. He hit his head and damaged a lot of bones. When we got there he was lying in the snow with his companions on very steep ground.”
Mr Harper was stretchered down the mountain and then airlifted to Belford Hospital in nearby Fort William by an RAF search-and-rescue helicopter, before being transferred to the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.
He is now being visited by his friends and family, including his two daughters Nina, 32, and Claire, 34.
Medical experts have put the experienced climber’s remarkable recovery down to his good health and fitness.
Ben Nevis is at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands.
Its summit is 4,409 feet above sea level and it attracts about 100,000 climbers each year.