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Father's plea after climber dies

THE grieving father of a climber killed on Ben Nevis does not want his son's death to deter others.

Ben St Joseph, 22, a medical student who had recently won a commission to the Royal Army Medical Corps, was named yesterday as the victim of Saturday's tragedy – the fifth climber to die in a week.

His father, Andrew, said from home in Tollesbury, Essex: "Ben was a very fit and experienced climber and had been on Ben Nevis before.

"He has climbed in the Andes and the Grampians and this climb was well within his capabilities. We don't know the exact details of the accident, but Ben was within sight and sound of others when it happened."

Mr St Joseph, a cattle farmer, added that his son was well versed in the risks and was an adventurer.

He added: "He had flown in crop-dusting planes in Australia and climbed in Peru and worked on a farm. We wouldn't want his death to discourage other young people from exploring the world and their limits."

His son had been finishing a medical course at Bristol University.

Northern Constabulary said he had been climbing alone on Ben Nevis when he fell about 300 feet from Tower Ridge into a gully below. The alarm was raised by a group of climbers who were in the area and saw him fall.

The tragedy followed the deaths of four climbers on Glen Coe the previous weekend.

Police said Mr St Joseph was rescued from Tower Gully but had sustained fatal injuries.

Meanwhile, two lost walkers have been found safe and well in Lochaber after rescuers homed in on their mobile phone signal in blizzard conditions.

EWAN FERGUS

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