A Scottish climber has had what can only be described as a miraculous escape after falling 1,000 feet down the side of a mountain.
Adam Potter, 36, from Glasgow was in a group of four travellers when he lost his footing and fell. They had just arrived at the summit of Sgurr Choinnich Mor, five miles from Ben Nevis and were about to get their crampons and axes out as the terrain had suddenly got icier, when the accident happened. Mr Potter was heading for the shelter of a large rock nearby when he felt himself start to slip. His friends were powerless to help and feared for his life as they pointed rescuers in the direction of Potter’s fall down the eastern slope of the mountain.
Luckily for Mr Potter, the Royal Navy Sea King helicopter was already in the air on a training mission; however unluckily for him it actually ignored the first sighting of the auspicious climber standing on a ridge, as they could not believe it was him.
They came across him again as they followed the trail of his belongings that had fallen from his backpack down the mountain side and discovered he was indeed the man they were searching for.
Lieutenant Tim Barker, observer on the HMS Gannet crew that came to Potter’s rescue stated “We honestly thought it couldn’t have been him as he was on his feet reading a map. It was quite incredible. He must have literally glanced off the outcrops as he fell, almost flying.”
The paramedic that was winched down to help him found him battered and bruised with a minor chest injury. He was checked again by a doctor on board the helicopter then transferred to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. Potter is believed to have been shaking from both the shock of the fall and the sheer relief of surviving it and was kept in hospital overnight with injuries that were said to be ‘non life threatening’.
Lieutenant Barker continued “He is lucky to be alive. It’s hard to believe that someone could have fallen that distance on that terrain and been able to stand up at the end of it, let alone chat to us in the helicopter on the way to hospital. I have to say that, when we got the call and realised the details of where he’d fallen we did expect to arrive on scene to find the worse case scenario.”
Mr Potter later recalled the ordeal and stated “The speed accumulated really fast. I was trying to slow myself down but every time I slowed myself down I would then go over a cliff edge, so I would get all my speed back, and then I would land on a slopier bit again and try to lose some more speed and then I would go over another cliff and so it went on.” As his speed began to slow Mr Potter saw one more cliff approaching and declared “I thought that might have been the end on that one.” Luckily it wasn’t and he has lived to tell the miraculous tale.