'Lucky' climber recovers from fall
Published 30/01/2011 | 17:01
A climber who plunged 1,000ft down a mountain and was found standing up reading a map by rescuers has told how he cheated death.
Adam Potter, 35, tumbled down the steep slope after slipping near the top of 3,589ft (1,094m) Sgurr Choinnich Mor, around five miles east of Ben Nevis.
However, rescuers in a Royal Navy helicopter found him standing up reading a map when they arrived on the scene on Saturday afternoon.
He broke his back in three places but is able to walk and was on Sunday recovering in the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.
Mr Potter, from Glasgow, was "Munro bagging" with three friends and his dog when he fell at around 2pm. He said: "We got to an area where it is a bit more slippy and a bit icier, so I said 'let's get our crampons on and get the axes out behind that rock', which was about five metres away, and as I walked towards the rock I slipped, and that`s when the fall began to happen.
"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.
"Towards the end I had almost lost all of my speed, then I actually saw what I was about to go over, which was one more cliff, and I actually thought that would be it. I thought that might have been the end on that one."
He thinks he was knocked unconscious briefly but then woke up and started to gather up his scattered kit.
He said: "I had lost my hat and gloves and walking poles on the way down, so straight away I put on my spare hat, my spare gloves. I was OK for walking about at that point. The helicopter came down to my area, could see that I was alright because I was walking about, so thought it must be the guys on the top. So they went to the top but my mates pointed downhill, so it came back down to me and that`s when they realised I was the actual casualty, even though I was up and moving around."
A Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was already airborne for training and arrived at the scene 35 minutes after he fell.