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Climber who fell 800ft and lived: I put my foot out and on to nothing

A climber who fell 800ft down a mountain after stepping over a cliff has told how he feels lucky to have survived.

Ollie Daniel, 25, was walking in the Coire Sputan Dearg area in the Southern Cairngorms when the accident happened at around 3.30pm on Sunday.

A major rescue operation was launched and he was found at around 6.30pm and airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Mr Daniel was with two other men, including his father, when he fell.

He said: "We were navigating in near zero visibility in a white-out.

"As I was navigating I put my foot out and on to nothing, and fell down about 800ft of sheer cliff. You figure you have had it."

He said that he slid part of the way while at other times he was freefalling.

Mr Daniel, from Cambridge, suffered nine broken ribs, a broken wrist, liver and lung injuries, as well as cuts and bruises, and said he felt lucky to be alive.

"You could not reasonably expect to fall down that cliff and survive, then mountain rescue to find me and rescue me. It's credit to them."

The other two men in his party raised the alarm.

His father James Daniel added: "We were walking in a three, Ollie was at the front and I was at the back.

"He put his foot down, let out a shout, and disappeared."

The rescue operation involved Braemar, Police Scotland and Aberdeen Mountain Rescue Teams.

Police Scotland said the casualty was evacuated by stretcher in ''challenging conditions'', then airlifted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary by a Royal Air Force rescue helicopter.

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