The only survivor of Tuesday’s avalanche on the UK’s highest mountain has paid a touching tribute to his three climbing friends who died. NEW

Swiss national Mathieu Biselx was with three fellow members of the Swiss Alpine Club when they were hit by an avalanche on Ben Nevis.
They had arrived in Scotland two days before and were climbing the mountain when the avalanche swept down Number 5 Gully.
The 30-year-old President of the Club’s Sion branch was the only one of the four men to survive.
He was seriously injured and is being treated in hospital in Glasgow. 
We reported on the avalanche and his initial comments about the tragedy to a Swiss newspaper.
Now Mr Biselx has paid tribute to his friends on Facebook, posting photographs of them all together.
Ben Nevis avalanche survivor & victims

Mathieu Biselx (2nd right) with his friends – photo Mathieu Biselx

“Raph, Cédric and Adrien. Thank you for your friendship,” he says.
“Have a good trip in your new mountains.🖤
“Thank you for all you have been for our community, for your inspiration. We will miss you.😔
“Thank you for having accompanied me so far.💔
“My thoughts are turning especially towards your families .. We are all here for you!
“I will carry you in my heart forever!”
The three men who died all lived in Switzerland.
One was Swiss and aged 43.
The other two were French, aged 31 and 42.
Survivor & victims of Ben Nevis avalanche

Climbing buddies – photo Mathieu Biselx

A mountaineering instructor who was one of the first on the scene has also been paying tribute to the men.
Paul Boggis was with a group of clients.

“The face of a dying man was held between my hands. I did my best to cradle his head and keep it still,” he says in a post on the Mountain Magic Facebook page.

“He was one of four people that Number Five Gully caught in its avalanche on Ben Nevis two days ago.

“Three died. One survived. Alongside many mountaineers and rescue team members, my two clients and I helped to carry three of the four men down the mountain…..

“Respecting the memory of the dead and the feelings of their friends and family is a big deal.

“It’s so sad to see these three mountaineers go and I can only begin to imagine what their loved ones are going through. Yet, as hard as it is, I know I would want the death of a dear friend or family member to help prevent it from happening to other people in the future.”

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis – photo Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team















The Highlands and Islands division of Police Scotland has re-iterated its advice to people venturing out into the mountains to take account of the weather conditions.

“The circumstances of Tuesday’s incident remain under investigation, however we want to take this opportunity to advise the public to carefully plan when heading to the mountain ranges,” Fort William Inspector, Isla Campbell said.

“We do not want to put anyone off enjoying the great outdoors activities we have here in Scotland but we would ask that people plan their routes, take sensible precautions and consider whether it is safe to climb a particular route.

“The environment of the Scottish mountains is by its very nature an unpredictable one and it is important that people take as many precautions and plan ahead as much as possible if they are going to go climbing, especially at this time of year.

Detailed information is available from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.

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