Climber killed in avalanche named as 'well-respected' teacher

Colleagues of Mark Bessell said he would be 'deeply missed' following his passing on the UK's highest mountain on December 30.

Ben Nevis climber killed in avalanche named as Bristol secondary school teacher Mark Bessell iStock

A climber killed in an avalanche on Ben Nevis has been named as a secondary school teacher from Bristol.

Mark Bessell was described as a “well-respected and long standing member of staff” by colleagues at Ashton School following his passing on the north face of the mountain on December 30.

The 48-year-old ran the school’s adventure club and organised the Duke of Edinburgh award and Ten Tors challenge for students.

Its headteacher, Richard Uffendell, wrote that Mr Bessell had “such a positive impact” on students in a letter to parents, adding the Gloucestershire Regiment veteran would be “deeply missed”.

He is survived by his wife Charlie, who also works at the school, and a son from a previous relationship.

“Our thoughts are with Mark Bessell’s family at this time, especially his wife Charlie who also works at Ashton Park School as Head of Science,” Mr Uffendell said.

Mark will be deeply missed by us all as he has had such a positive impact on the lives of so many students, staff, families and the wider communities, but he will never be forgotten.

“Mark led on a number of trips, ran our Adventure Club, Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors and when we have details of how our school and community will pay tribute to Mark’s life and continue the outstanding work he led within outdoor education, we will be in touch.”

Students are being offered grief and psychological support in the meantime, he added.

A second climber, 40, was transferred to Belford Hospital in Fort William with non-life threatening injuries after sliding around 600m down the mountain in the same incident.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were scrambled to assist along with a search and rescue helicopter before locating the pair.

Police Scotland asked for their families’ privacy to be respected at this time.

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