Members were shocked to hear that Tom Chesters, who was a HALO member in 2011, was one of the four climbers who tragically lost their lives in a climbing accident on Saturday afternoon near Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. Two other members of the group survived although one of them is said to be in a critical condition in hospital. Tom, who was 28, was a very competent orienteer who competed in a number of events for HALO in 2011 including the Scottish 6 Days. He was a medical engineering research PhD student at Hull University and joined AIRE when he moved to Leeds. Sadly, Tom’s girlfriend, Rachel Majumdar, a doctor from Harrogate and a member of AIRE, was also one of the victims. Our sincere condolences to Tom and Rachel’s families and friends on their very sad loss.
According to the Hull Daily Mail the six experienced hill walkers were said to be well equipped for their winter trek across Bidean Nam Bian. a mountain near Glencoe. The group had started their descent down a steep incline on the south side of the valley at about 2pm on Saturday when a sheet of snow gave way beneath them and carried them 1,000 feet to the bottom of the mountain at speeds estimated to be up to 50 mph.