Tomas Gafrik was reported missing on Ben Nevis

Tomas Gafrik was reported missing on Ben Nevis

A major search involving 39 mountain rescuers has been underway all day for a man who has gone missing on Britain’s highest mountain.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team appealed for sightings of Tomas Gafrik after he said he was going to visit ‘fjords’ in the area after ascending Ben Nevis.

A team spokesperson said: “We need to check if he has been seen since in case the search on the Ben is a wild goose chase.”

Twenty-seven Lochaber MRT members were joined by 12 volunteers from other teams in the hunt for the Slovakian national. The Inverness Coastguard helicopter also took part in the operation.

Rescuers said the man posted a short film on social media from just above Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe – the Halfway Lochan – on Thursday morning. The Lochaber team appealed to anyone who has seen Mr Gafrik to contact Police Scotland.

The spokesperson added: “The forecast on Ben Nevis for tomorrow, Monday, is for 50-80mph winds with extensive heavy snow which will make any search around summits extremely difficult.”

Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, or Halfway Lochan on Ben Nevis. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Lochan Meall an t-Suidhe, or Halfway Lochan on Ben Nevis. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A post the Ben Nevis Forum on Facebook by Jana Kočí appealed for help. It said: “My brother Tomas Gafrik from Slovakia is missing from this Thursday. He went hiking on Ben Nevis on Thursday but from that time we have no messages from him and his phone is switched off.”

The post added a map explaining he spent Wednesday night at a point between the lochan and Red Burn.

Police Scotland said the 40-year-old man landed at Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday.

Mr Gafrik is described as 6ft 1in (1.86m) tall and of medium build with short brown hair.
He is believed to have been wearing a grey jacket and carrying a green and yellow rucksack.

Sergeant Michael Bell of Fort William police station said: “Tomas has not been in contact with his family since Thursday and we are growing increasingly concerned for him.

“I would ask anyone who may have seen him at any time since he arrived in Scotland on Tuesday, whether that is on Ben Nevis or elsewhere to let us know as soon as possible.

“If you can help please call 101, quoting incident 2681 of 23 February.”

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