Tributes paid to ‘gargantuan and inspiring’ mountaineers who died on Ben Hope

Tributes paid to 'gargantuan and inspiring' mountaineers who died on Ben Hope

Two experienced climbers who died when they fell hundreds of feet on Scotland’s most northerly Munro have been described as “gargantuan and inspiring” figures in Scottish mountaineering.

Friends said Andy Nisbet, 65, was one of Scotland’s greatest winter climbers, having forged almost 1,000 new routes, while Steve Perry, 47, was a well known climber, mountain biker and hill walker.

Concerns were raised for the pair on Tuesday afternoon after they fell on Ben Hope in Sutherland.

They were regular climbing partners and are thought to have finished their ascent on the 3,041ft mountain when they fell on the upper slopes while roped together.

A two day operation, involving nearly 50 mountain rescue team members and two Coastguard helicopters, ended with the recovery of their bodies on Wednesday.

David Whalley, a former RAF mountain rescue team leader, said Mr Nisbet was “the most active, prolific mountaineer that Scotland has ever produced”.

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