A dad-of-two who tragically fell to his death on a climbing expedition has been described as a caring man and passionate lover of the great outdoors by one of his best friends.
Mike Campbell, 63, died after he plunged 80 metres while climbing down Blaven on the Isle of Skye on Sunday, September 26.
Three of his party were saved by a helicopter dispatched from Inverness at around 1.30pm after conditions on the hillside deteriorated significantly, according to a Facebook post by Ben Wear of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team.
Adverse weather meant that further air rescues were impossible and a search party set out on foot.
Mike’s body was found at around 5pm and his companion, Kirsty McLelland, was helped to safety.
In total, 32 rescuers were involved in the search for the missing climbers.
Mark Dootson, chair of the Kilmarnock Mountaineering Club of which Mike was a member, remembered his friend as a “very caring” man.
Mike worked for Thales, an aerospace and defence firm based in Glasgow, and stayed locally for many years before moving to Dunoon, Argyll and Bute, only a few months ago, where he was in the process of renovating a bungalow.
Mark said: “When we had novices with us he was always very caring towards them. I don’t really know any other way to explain him.
“He took me under his wing after he completed the Munros and we were concentrating on getting mine.”
The two joined the Ayrshire outdoors club around 10 years ago and became fast friends.
“We got to know each other through the club and our hillwalking and climbing,” Mark continued.
“Both of us would go to gigs regularly, any Scottish indie or folky stuff that was playing in Glasgow.
“Only last week we were at a gig in St Luke’s and we would always go to Celtic Connections.”
A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Around 1.20 pm on Sunday, September 26, 2021, a concern for a person call was made to police after a 63-year-old man had fallen on Blaven, Isle of Skye, and could not be traced by his companion.
“Skye Mountain Rescue attended and the man was found to be deceased and his body recovered from the mountain.
“There would appear to be no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report has been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”
By Hamish Morrison and Caitlyn Dewar, SWNS
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