The sole survivor of the Ben Nevis avalanche has said his final farewell to his three fellow climbers as they are laid to rest – just two weeks on from the tragedy.
Swiss National Mathieu Biselx, 30, was climbing the UK’s highest peak in the area of the Number 5 Gully with his three friends Raphael Aymon, Cedric Ravimet and Adrien Robez-Masson when they were hit by a devastating avalanche.
He was flown to Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital with serious injuries, following a six hour rescue operation.
In a touching tribute to his “Friends from Scotland”, the president of the Swiss Alpine Club of Sion wrote a poem remarking on the “beautiful heritage” the trio have left behind.
He wrote, in French, about how they had been looking forward to the fateful trip for a long time, and had been talking about it.
But “the worst happened, in this beautiful country, you lost your life”.
“Beautiful families and a passionate club, such a beautiful heritage, that you have left us. Our turn, to pay tribute and towards this last summit, continue this journey.”
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The large-scale avalanche was first reported to emergency services around 11.50am on March 12 by members of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service.
Mountaineers from Lochaber Mountain rescue were joined by dozens of volunteer mountain rescuers in the blustery conditions to help carry the casualties down the mountain.
In the days following the avalanche, the father of one posted a series of images of the group online in what is believed to be the last images taken on their trip.
Two weeks on, he says their love and friendship will be truly missed.
He added: “Each rock, each ice and flake, will call back to us, the memory of your first names.
“We will miss you. Of our love and our friendship, be assured.
“Thank you Adrien, Cedric and Raphael, you are on your way to heaven. We love you and leave you.”