“A mountain rescue waiting to happen” Woman blasted for climbing Ben Nevis in flip flops


A WOMAN has been branded a “mountain rescue waiting to happen” after she was snapped climbing the UK’s highest mountain in flip flops.

Pictures shows the unidentified woman on a rock-strewn path on 4,411ft (1,345m) Ben Nevis, where even the “tourist” route is a strenuous climb and treacherous weather can strike without warning on any day of the year.

The images were taken by another walker, who wishes to remain anonymous, who posted the clip to social media with the caption: “Really. Needless to say she didn’t get to the top, absolutely nuts.”

In the image the woman can be seen wearing three-quarter length leggings and flip flops on a path that is partially covered with jagged rocks.

Facebook post showing the climber in flip flops

The incident was documented in a Facebook post

She is surrounded by hillwalkers wearing walking trousers and hiking boots and carrying walking sticks.

The images prompted an angry reaction on social media.

Greg Telford wrote: “Flip flops ! Heaven help us.. she’s a mountain rescue episode waiting to happen.”

Euan Tausney wrote: “People like her should be fined, or thrown off the mountain for their own safety!”

Pamela Cain wrote: “Ben Nevis not an easy climb. Some right bravado a******s around. People not properly equipped for mountains put mountain rescue at risk of getting call out due to stupidity.”

Shirley Bartle wrote: “Can’t believe people can be so stupid!

A hillwalker wearing flip flops on Ben Nevis

The hillwalker was snapped near the summit climbing in flip flops

“They are not just putting themselves at risk but the wonderful volunteers that are mountain rescue who end up getting called out to rescue eejits who are not properly equipped for the mountain.”

The woman who took the pictures revealed that she had been abused for sharing the pictures.

One user messaged her writing: “How dare you take a picture of someone to then shame them your a horrible auld bag? Get a f****** life.”

Ten people died in Scotland’s hills and mountain ranges in the first three months of this year.

The mountain path on Ben Nevis is tackled by up to 100,000 people a year and is in constant use by tourists, regular hill-walkers, runners and charity fundraisers.

It provides a steady stream of casualties suffering everything from minor sprains to serious and fatal injuries.

Last year an avalanche on the mountain killed three people, and a fourth climber had to be airlifted to hospital.

A Facebook post reads she is a mountain rescue episode waiting to happen

The weather on Ben Nevis can change from clear and sunny to heavy rain and driving winds with almost zero visibility within minutes and almost without warning. It is arguably the most ferocious to be found anywhere in the UK.

In 2014 a tourist who was wearing flip flops and had never seen snow before was found half way up 4,000ft Aonach Mòr in the Nevis range after twisting his ankle.

He was heavily criticised at the time by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team who called it an ‘avoidable accident’.

A spokesman for Mountaineering Scotland said: “Flip-flops are certainly not the footwear we’d recommend for climbing Ben Nevis.

“The easiest way to the summit is the Mountain Track, but it still involves over 4000 feet of ascent and over eight kilometres horizontal distance – and the photographs show how rough the track is.

“At best that sort of footwear would make for a long, uncomfortable day, but it could very easily have resulted in injury.

“Anyone thinking about climbing Ben Nevis should be aware how serious a challenge it can be, even in summer, and make sure they are properly prepared and equipped.

Advice about climbing Ben Nevis, and the clothing and equipment you need, can be found at www.mountaineering.scot/activities/hillwalking/ben-nevis

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