Glen Coe mountain guide who plunged to his death with two climbers named as heartbreaking rescue details emerge | The Sun

TRIBUTES have been paid to a passionate adventure-seeking mountain guide who died after falling from a treacherous ridge in the Highlands.

The triple tragedy on Aonach Eagach in Glen Coe is believed to be the worst summertime mountain tragedy in Scotland for many years.

Experienced hiker Dave Fowler, 39, has been named locally as one of those who died in the fall, along with two of his clients – Graham Cox, 60, from Southport, Merseyside – and a 64-year-old woman.

The trio are believed to have been roped together – which sources say was “pretty normal”.

Mr Fowler had been taking the pair in a guided traverse, which can take up to nine hours and is aimed at hikers with a good level of fitness and a head for heights.

He was originally from Llanberis, in Gwynedd, Wales, where he climbed as a youngster with his father, brother and school friends. He moved to Scotland in 2005.


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The experienced instructor was a director of West Coast Mountain Guides, which said it was now unable to fulfil bookings ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’.

Former customers shared memories of guided trips with him on social media, with one writing: “You pushed me beyond my comfort zone, built up my confidence to make me believe in my own abilities in the mountains.”

A neighbour said Mr Fowler seemed like a “great guy” and, if you were going into the hills “was the type of guy you would get to do it”.

It comes as rescuers have told of the challenges recovering the bodies after they were reported overdue from the ridge on Saturday night.

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Police have not officially released the trio's names as the families have requested privacy.

Due to darkness and the mountainous terrain, rescuers had to return in daylight to recover the bodies. Two Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team volunteers had reached them early on Sunday.

Police Scotland was alerted to concerns about the climbers at about 9.05pm on Saturday.

Several groups of volunteers from Glencoe MRT ascended the ridge, and Inverness Coastguard search and rescue helicopter, called R151, was also called out.

Police have said weather conditions were difficult at the time, due to mist and fog.

A spokesman for Glencoe MRT said: “In the small hours of the morning two volunteers found the three casualties who were unfortunately confirmed deceased at that time.

“Due to the darkness and the terrain, R151 was unable to winch the casualties at this point.

“The difficult decision was made to leave the three where they were.”
Later on Sunday morning, Prestwick-based coastguard helicopter R199 flew Glencoe team members to a site close to the casualties.

The spokesman said: “All three were then stretchered by Glencoe Mountain Rescue members to a spot that was safe for R199 to winch from.

“A team of RAF mountain rescue kindly volunteered to be on stand by in case the helicopter was unavailable.”

He added: “Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the deceased at this time.”

Glencoe MRT thanked the coastguard crews for their assistance.

Aonach Eagach is a high, narrow, exposed ridge that runs almost the length of Glen Coe and links two summits – 953m (3,127ft) Meall Dearg and 967m (3,172ft) Sgòrr nam Fiannaidh.

Its name means “notched ridge”, a reference to its rocky, sawtooth-like pinnacles. Aonach Eagach is a popular scrambling route with climbers.

The deaths have been reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

A COPFS spokesman said: “The procurator fiscal has received reports in connection with the deaths of a 64-year-old woman and two men aged 39 and 60 in Glencoe on 6 August.

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“The investigation into the deaths is ongoing and the families will continue to be kept updated in relation to any significant developments.”

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