U Sure Do Strike
3 February 2015, 07:28
The family of a Suffolk climber who died in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands have paid tribute to an "amazing person'' and a "hugely experienced mountaineer''.
Max Norman, 41, was one of two men from Suffolk reported missing on Friday night after they failed to return from a climb on Coireag Dubh Mor in the Torridon area of the western Highlands.
Mountain rescue teams and the Stornoway coastguard helicopter searched for the pair on Friday night but were forced to call the hunt off because the weather was so bad.
It resumed on Saturday afternoon and one of the climbers was found walking out to find assistance for the other man.
The mountain rescue team found Mr Norman but he had already died.
The landscape architect, based in Ipswich, leaves his wife Charlotte and three young children.
In a statement issued through Police Scotland, his family said: ``Max was an amazing person and a hugely experienced mountaineer. He loved the Scottish highlands and knew the area very well. We are utterly devastated by this tragedy and ask for space and time to comfort his young family and to mourn his loss.
"We are enormously grateful to the rescue services for all their efforts and for the kind support of the staff at the Torridon Youth Hostel.''
Police Scotland said both men were experienced climbers and had proper equipment.
Heavy snow and strong winds have been persistent in the Highlands over the last month.
A police spokesman said: ''On the Friday night police were alerted to two overdue climbers who had undertaken climbs on Coireag Dubh Mor in the Torridon area of the western Highlands.
''Torridon Mountain Rescue Team were alerted and air assistance was provided by Stornoway coastguard helicopter.
''Poor weather conditions made for difficult search conditions.
''The search continued during Saturday. One of the climbers was traced in the early afternoon, walking out to summon assistance for his companion. Both had been avalanched.
''His companion was subsequently traced, but did not survive.
''A report is being submitted to the procurator fiscal.''
In 2012, the last full year for which figures are available, rescue teams helped 720 people with 240 injured and 25 fatalities in Scotland's mountains.