Climbing was ‘passion’ of 80-year-old who died from mountain fall

A man who died after falling from a 3000ft mountain has been named.

Climbing was ‘passion’ of 80-year-old who died on Skye Coire a’ Bhasteir mountain, family say PA Media

The family of an 80-year-old climber who died after a fall on a mountain on Skye have said climbing was his “passion”.

John Meechan, from Glenrothes, Fife, fell at Coire a’ Bhasteir in the Cuillin range at around 3.05pm on Wednesday.

His climbing partner raised the alarm and the emergency services were called out as well as Skye Mountain Rescue and the Coastguard rescue helicopter but Mr Meechan was pronounced dead at the scene.

His youngest son, David Meechan, said in a statement on behalf of the family: “The family of John Meechan and his wife Eleanor would like to thank the Skye Mountain Rescue Team, and all the authorities on Skye, for recovering him after his fatal fall on Wednesday July 26.

“We understand that he was rescued quickly once contacted by his climbing partner on the day, David Morris. Thanks to David also for staying with my dad.

“We were obviously shocked when we first got the news but have been comforted since by knowing he spent his final days walking in the Scottish Highlands.

“Climbing was his passion and he had scaled peaks all over Europe and in Africa. I had to scramble him out of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco before the air space closed when the first Covid lockdowns began in March 2020.

“He never slowed down even when he turned 80 last year, and his dream was to match the feat of the legendary Swiss Alpine climber Marcel Remy, who was still able to climb aged 99. Sadly, he never got that far but we are all still hugely proud of his drive and determination.”

As well as his wife of 62 years and his son David, the former RAF serviceman leaves behind his sons Brian and Ian.

A post from the mountain rescue team on Facebook said: “On Wednesday afternoon, the team responded to a report of a fallen climber in Coire a’ Bhasteir.

“Sadly, the experienced male’s injuries were fatal.

“Stornoway rescue helicopter R948, twenty mountain rescue personnel, and several passing climbers all assisted in evacuating the body from the mountain.

“Our thoughts go out to the climber’s family and friends.”

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