Scotland’s busiest mountain rescue team dealt with more than 80 call outs and five deaths this year.
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team – who cover the UK’s highest mountain – said many people were ill-equipped and there had been “a spate” of ankle injuries in particular.
John Stevenson, leader of Lochaber MRT, said thousands of tourists who would have normally gone abroad instead headed for Ben Nevis and the surrounding area.
Mr Stevenson said most to the call outs were to the 4411ft high mountain – which usually attracts 160,000 people-a-year.
“The five fatalities were particularly tragic and poignant and we send our condolences again to their families and friends,” said Mr Stevenson.
They included top mountaineer Andrew Vine, 41, from the Manchester area, who was last seen on the west face of Aonach Mor, near Fort William, on February 28.
Also in February, the body of Slovakian tourist Tomas Gafrik missing high up on Ben Nevis was found just 50 yards from the road.
Richard Armstrong, from from Wigton in Cumbria, died in a fall during Storm Dennis.
“It has been a strange year but despite the restrictions we have dealt with just over 80 call outs. In a normal year it would be between 80 and 100,” said Mr Stevenson.
“It was the usual slips and trips most of the time, but a lot of ankle injuries this year. Some people were well prepared and just unlucky – others were not.
“When lockdown was eased it went mad – we had campervans coming out of ears. There were thousands of people who would have normally gone abroad head here and up Ben Nevis.
“I am surprised we had so many call outs in this pandemic year, but it just shows that people needed to get out for their mental and physical wellbeing when they were allowed.”