TRIBUTES have been paid to an Edinburgh-based climber who died after falling 300ft in the Cairngorms on Sunday.
Carlos Las Heras, 51, who lived in the Slateford area of the city with his partner Alison, had been climbing on the technically difficult Fingers Ridge in Coire an t-Sneachda when he fell.
The incident happened at around 10.30am on Sunday morning and was witnessed by other climbers, who raised the alarm.
He was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition by a rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemout, but declared dead on arrival at Raigmore Hospital, Fort William.
Mr Las Heras, who was originally from Irun, Gipuzkoa province, northern Spain, had been resident in the city for a number of years, and worked as a videogame translator.
His website, which has been taken offline, described him as “Carlos Las Heras, translator, specialised in videogames and software localisation, advertising and marketing.”
Mr Las Heras partner Alison was too upset to speak last night.
A neighbour said: “I heard about what happened, it’s a real shame. Carlos worked from home a lot and seemed very nice, but kept himself to himself. I know Alison better and they were a lovely couple. It’s really very sad.”
Mr Las Heras was an experienced solo climber and had often inquired about good places to climb in Scotland.
It is understood that his father, also named Carlos Las Heras, was a well-known Spanish painter, who passed away in recent years. Coire an t-Sneachda is one of Scotland’s most accessible winter climbing areas, a 45-minute walk from the Cairngorm Ski area.
Mr Las Heras death marks the first of the winter climbing season, as experts warn that despite appearances many winter routes were not yet in “condition” with loose blocks and unfrozen turf presenting a potential hazard. A run of incidents earlier this year saw eleven climbers die on Scotland’s mountains in the space of two months. The first of these was John Wooding, 29, of east London, who died on January 13 in Coire an t-Sneachda.
Others killed included Graham Connell, 31, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, who died in the Jacob’s Ladder area of the Cairngorms. Another avalanche in the Cairngorms on Valentine’s Day killed RAF Squadron leader Rimon Than, 33 and Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps, 32. William Currie, 18, from Penzance, Cornwall, who was training with Glenmore Lodge centre, also died.