Video shows climber plucked to safety by helicopter from Ben Nevis’s notorious Five Finger Gully

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DRAMATIC footage shows a daring night-time helicopter mission to rescue a lost climber from one of most dangerous cliffs in Britain.

The climber, dressed all in black, was stuck on a ledge on Five Finger Gully, Ben Nevis, with a drop of hundreds of feet below.

The rescue which unfolded at 8.15pm yesterday (wed), was filmed by an infrared camera on a HM Coastguard helicopter based in Inverness.

The man, who was uninjured, was picked up from the 800m high gully in extremely dangerous conditions.

The video of the rescue begins with the view from a helicopter overlooking the vast cliff face.

The camera then zooms into a spot in the ridge where a tiny black mass can be seen against the white background.

The helicopter moves around for a better view of the man where he can now be seen clearly against the harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Lost climber was seen helplessly clinging on to the cliff face

The next shot shows the daring rescue of the man as he is seen dangling from a long wire from the helicopter.

As the man comes into view, a crew member can clearly be distinguished with him, while another crew member stays in the helicopter to assist pulling them up.

The crew member, and man being rescued are then hoisted into the helicopter, bits of clothing flapping in the strong wind, and he is taken into safety.

Speaking afterwards about the rescue Winch Operator Mark Lean said: “The casualty was hard to locate as he was wearing all black and the only illumination was the back light of his mobile phone.

That can be seen being winched up by the mountain rescue team

“Rescue 951 fortunately glimpsed him on the infrared camera as the aircraft was making a turn back to the reported search area.

“His location was in the notorious Five Finger Gully which has a sad history of fatalities and complicated technical rescues after navigational errors by walkers.

“Last night in severe turbulence and poor visibility, the crew of Rescue 951 had to reverse the helicopter into the gully in order to achieve the rescue.

“The casualty was precariously perched on a ledge with a sheer drop below and was still attempting to shuffle down the gully.

Severe turbulence and poor weather conditions made this rescue all the more remarkable

“Thankfully, he was uninjured and we were able to bring him to safety.”

The Five Finger Gully is responsible for many fatalities on Ben Nevis. The gully initially has a gentle slope before rapidly leading to steep danger cliffs.

Deaths from the Five Finger Gully tend to happen most often with walkers descending the mountain whilst they try to avoid the North Face of the Ben Nevis.

10 people have lost their lives on the mountain in the first three months of this year already, in contrast just one person lost their life in 2017 over the same time period.

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