1966 – A rescue on Ben Nevis, again and again!

A Saint Andrews day tale

When I joined the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in the early 70’s there were as always some wild tales of rescues in the past that were handed down through the years. RAF Kinloss MRT has a huge history and starts from 1944 till the team moved to RAF Lossiemouth in 2012.

There is one story that I thought was just another tale but here it is:


1966 SMC Journal Scottish Mountain Accidents 1966

5 th November 1965

“Three members of the RAF Kinloss MR Team were on the summit of Ben Nevis. They looked in to the rude shelter there ( summit shelter Heavy) and found a female walker aged 35 from Glasgow. Her story was ” She had climbed Ben Nevis on the 3 November reaching the summit rather late. On the 4th it was misty all day and she thought she would be blown away by the high winds so stayed put”. She had a spare pullover and a dry pair of socks: she was wearing thin shoes and a plastic mac. She was helped down by the Kinloss men.


On enquiry it transpired that she had attempted to climb Ben Nevis nine times during the last two years. She had reached the summit on five or six times but was usually benighted.  On the 2 Jan 1965 she was escorted off the mountain by Kinloss Team again when found on steep snow using an umbrella as an ice axe.

On 21 March 1965 she was rescued by a civilian party after a fall on snow near the red burn and taken to the Belford hospital where a scalp injury was stitched up. On this occasion she had with her a flask of coffee, some chocolate and a little whisky.


She had been on no other mountain than Ben Nevis. This incident was reported to the Scottish Home Department and she was later visited by police officers fro Glasgow to persuade her to refrain from her ill – considered activities.

So there you go another true tale about Ben Nevis! What a great source of information the SMC Journals are.

I wonder if any of the old and bold from Lochaber remember this tale?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Gear, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 1966 – A rescue on Ben Nevis, again and again!

  1. Jim Morrison says:

    If my memory serves me correctly this lady also had a gardening trowel which she used to cut some steps, her reason for using an umbrella rather than an ice axe was that they were foreign and she didn’t trust them. Again , if my memory serves me correctly, it was a party led by Geordie Armstrong that led her off the Ben.

    Liked by 1 person

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