We were very lucky: Ben Nevis hiker on conditions after avalanche deaths

A hiker who reached the summit of Ben Nevis on Friday said they were “very lucky” to complete the expedition, after two climbers were killed and two more injured in an avalanche on the mountain.

Ambre Boucher and a group of friends set off from a local youth hostel, taking the mountain track to hike to and from the summit between 9am and 5pm.

“It was cold, heavy winds, snow flurries,” the 41-year-old nurse from South Wales said.

“There was a whiteout at the top which got a bit scary, our footprints were being covered, but we managed to find our way down with another climber.

“There was an announcement over the weekend, I believe.

“We saw the risks yesterday. We still went and we were very lucky.”

Ambre Boucher and friends near the summit of Ben Nevis on Friday
(Ambre Boucher)

After hearing the news on their way back to Wales, she said the group are “thanking our lucky stars” and “hope (the missing climbers) are all accounted for now”.

Ben Nevis, near Fort William in the western Highlands, is a popular destination for experienced climbers, attracting 125,000 visitors each year.

Tuesday’s incident follows two recent fatal accidents on the mountain which at 1,345m is the UK’s highest.

The view near the summit of Ben Nevis on Friday
(Ambre Boucher)

On New Year’s Day, a 21-year-old German woman, who was a student at Bristol University, died after she fell from a ridge she had been climbing with three other people.

She had been hiking on what is known as the “ledge route” when she fell around 500ft.

In December, Patrick Boothroyd, 21, from West Yorkshire, died after falling in the Tower Gully area.

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