Tower Ridge in full winter conditions. Photo: Rozen CC-BY-SA-2.0

Tower Ridge in full winter conditions. Photo: Rozen CC-BY-SA-2.0

Three men were rescued from Britain’s highest mountain after spending more than 18 hours on a ridge.

Police said they received reports at 7.45pm yesterday, Saturday, that the three climbers were caught out in darkness on Ben Nevis.

The trio were thought to be at Tower Gap on Tower Ridge on the North Face of the mountain.

Members of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team mounted a search for the climbers, and a Coastguard helicopter from Stornoway joined the operation.

The trio was spotted about 2.30pm today and the men were airlifted from the ridge.

Northern Constabulary said none of them needed medical treatment. The spokesperson said no further details would be released.

Tower Gap is an awkward crux on the Tower Ridge route, which starts near the Charles Inglis Clarke climbing hut and leads to the summit plateau of Ben Nevis.

The route is a grade IV winter climb, though in summer conditions Tower Ridge is classed as a grade 3S scramble and includes sections of rockclimbing graded Difficult.

In January, Ben St Joseph, 22, of Essex, died after falling from Tower Ridge into Tower Gully on the 1,344m (4,409ft) mountain.

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