The funeral was taking place today of climber Neil Batchelor, who died after falling during a solo ascent on Cairn Gorm last Friday.
The 26-year-old, from Inverness, died while attempting Aladdin’s Couloir on Coire an t-Sneachda. Neil is understood to have fallen about 180m, possibly when a cornice collapsed. He is the third member of Aberdeen University’s climbing club to have died in the corrie this season.
There are tributes galore to Neil on the UKClimbing forums, in a tragic echo of those posted when his fellow Lairig club members Richard Hardy and Graeme Cooper died in Coire an t-Sneachda a month ago. Indeed, the families of both Richard and Graeme have posted messages of condolence. Neil’s mum Sheila and his girlfriend Kelly McMahon have also written messages on the forum.
Another climber in the area witnessed Neil’s fall and went to help him, but it appeared he had already died from his injuries. Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team recovered his body.
Like the two previous mountaineers who died in the corrie, Neil had studied in Aberdeen University’s geography department.
His family issued the following statement after his death: “Throughout his life Neil was happy, vibrant and energetic, spending all his spare time outdoors.
“He was a keen ice climber, rock climber and fly fisherman, and his passionate nature inspired many other climbing enthusiasts.
“Neil touched many hearts and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
“He leaves behind his loving partner Kelly McMahon, parents Sheila and William, sister Linsey, brother Ewan and best friend Tim Rose.”
Everyone at grough extends their sympathies to Neil’s family and all who knew him.