Man falls 100ft down Beinn Eighe in Scottish
Highlands

Man falls 100ft down Beinn Eighe in Scottish Highlands

Professor Neil Gregor, 54, of Richmond Park, Otterbourne, -north of Chandler’s Ford – had hiked up Beinn Eighe in the Northwest Highlands when he lost his footing and tumbled down.

“I bounced four or five times – a couple of times on my head,” Neil told the Chronicle. “I’m very, very lucky. It could have ended very, very differently.”

Neil and his walking partner, Matt Kelly, 49, from Northumbria, had finished their ascent and were hiking down when the incident happened on June 25.

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The Torridon Mountain Rescue team prepares Neil to be airlifted (Image: Torridon Mountain Rescue Team)

He said: “We were very much at the end of our walk on this peak and just about to head down for a beer, and I just lost my footing. I had a tumble and fell about 100 feet down a scree gully.”

Neil, who is a Professor of Modern European History at the University of Southampton, was left with a broken wrist, vertebrae and ribs, and was unable to move.

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As an experienced walker, luckily he was well-equipped: “I was carrying a tracer with me. If you have an accident you can call for help and they can locate you.”

The Torridon Mountain Rescue team sent a helicopter out, but conditions were far less than ideal.

Neil Gregor on Beinn Eighe (Image: Matt Kelly)

“We were very near the top of this mountain so it was very hard for the mountain rescue to get to us,” explained Neil.

“It was so cloudy that they couldn’t see us from the helicopter. They had to leave a crew halfway down the mountain, who then walked up to us. We could hear the helicopter flying away, which was a bit discouraging.

“They got to us at about 10pm. We had been there for about five hours already – they then spent a couple of hours preparing me to be air-lifted out on this stretcher thing.”

When asked whether the experience had been a little scary, Neil said: “I don’t know about scary. We are both quite calm people. We knew we would be rescued.”

After he had been airlifted to safety, he spent three days in hospital and a few more convalescing at a friend’s house in Scotland before travelling home.

He is overwhelmed with gratitude to the Torridon Mountain Rescue team, who worked until past midnight to lift him out of danger.

Neil wants to encourage anyone interested to donate to the team on the Just Giving page he has set up, which can be found here.

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