The climbers were winched from Ben Nevis's North Face. Photo: Graham Lewis CC-BY-2.0

The climbers were winched from Ben Nevis's North Face. Photo: Graham Lewis [CC-2.0]

Three climbers were rescued after getting stuck on a route on Britain’s highest mountain.

The trio became cragfast on the North Face of Ben Nevis on Friday evening.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team was called out by police after they called for help.

The climbers said they planned to tackle the grade II Ledge Route, but told rescuers they were unsure of their position.

The rescue team used the specialised Sarloc smartphone software devised by former Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation member Russ Hore to determine where the stricken climbers were.

The system enables a hyperlink to be sent to a smartphone which, when followed, sends the phone’s location to rescuers.

The climbers were actually found to be on Tower Ridge, near Little Tower.

Rescuers requested help from the Sea King of RAF Lossiemouth, which flew to the area and the low cloud lifted just long enough for the three to be winched from their position on the ridge.

A Lochaber MRT spokesperson said the helicopter saved a long night on the mountain for the team, adding: “We will definitely miss you.”

The military search and rescue helicopters of the RAF and Royal Navy are due to be replaced by civilian-crewed aircraft run by private firm Bristow in three years’ time.

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