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Climber impaled by his ice pick.

DOCTORS were last night fighting to save a climber's arm after he fell off a mountain and impaled himself on his ice pick.

Rescuers fear his friends may have caused even more damage by trying to pull the serrated blade of the axe from his right arm.

They then used his mobile phone to raise the alarm.

The injured man was eventually rescued by a Royal Navy helicopter crew from HMS Gannet in Prestwick.

Low cloud and poor visability hampered the operation on the 3100ft summit of An Caisteal, near Crianlarich, Perthshire.

The crew were about to give up when they spotted the climber and his seven climbing companions 100ft below the summit.

The helicopter's captain, RN Lieutenant Dave Wright, decided to fly direct to the scene despite snow storms and low cloud.

Dave said: "We could hardly see a thing. We had to use the cliff face to guide us, but things began to get quite hairy when we were also hit by a whiteout in snow showers.

"Then just at the point when we had decided to give up, we spotted somebody waving.

"After two attempts, we airlifted the climber off the mountain.

"I was disturbed to find that his companions had tried to pull the ice pick from the man's arm, which undoubtedly caused more damage."

The man was taken to the Vale of Leven Hospital, Dunbartonshire, with the axe still embedded in his forearm.
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Author:Burns, Janice
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 10, 2000
Words:238
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