‘Heartbroken’ mum’s tribute to Glencoe climber

Tragic climber Simon Davidson. Picture: contributed
Tragic climber Simon Davidson. Picture: contributed
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The mother of a mountaineer who died in a climbing accident in the Highlands has said she is “heartbroken” by his loss.

Simon Davidson, 34, was killed alongside Joe Smith after they fell from a peak in Glencoe on Saturday afternoon.

The former Craigmount High pupil was an experienced mountain climber, ski instructor and outdoor activity leader.

In a poignant post on her son’s Facebook, Mr Davidson’s mother, Esther, said she was comforted by the tributes and photographs which have flooded in.

“I feel heartbroken at his loss,” she wrote. “I know he loved the mountains but he also really valued your friendship and all you shared together in the mountains. He died doing what he loved. Carry on climbing and carry his memory to the highest places.”

Mr Davidson ran Fort William-based Garbh Mountain Adventures, which offered “tailored adventures” in the Cairngorms, Lochaber and Glencoe.

He grew up in Edinburgh, however he spent time living close to the mountains, including Aviemore, and he was a well-qualified instructor in skills from navigation to rock climbing, also spending time on the patrol team at Nevis Range.

Mr Davidson was also well-known at the indoor climbing centre at Ratho.

James Graeme was among dozens of people to pay tribute to Mr Davidson online.

He wrote: “I worked and climbed with him many a time and he was always a top guy to be around. Full of enthusiasm, always jovial and had a deep love for outdoors.”

Police said that Mr Davidson’s family, who live in the city centre, were too upset to comment further on his death.

Mr Davidson and Mr Smith, 23, from Kinlochleven, are thought to have died after being caught up in an avalanche.

Police said the pair had “fallen some distance” and were found by another climbing party on Stob Coire nam Beith at about 4.30pm on Saturday.

Glencoe mountain rescue team said the men were roped together, suggesting they had been on a climb.

Mr Davidson and Mr Smith, who was originally from the Lancashire area, were carrying adequate equipment.

The weather in the area was described as “a typical winter day – snowing with wind on top” and the Scottish Avalanche Information Service labelled the risk in Glencoe on Saturday as “considerable”.

Andy Nelson, leader of the Glencoe mountain rescue team, said: “The guys were roped together, so it is possible they were still on the climb but they have clearly fallen some distance. My information is that they have been killed instantly by the fall. They had all the relevant equipment and there is nothing to suggest that they were ill-equipped or inexperienced.”

Mr Nelson urged climbers to check forecasts and warnings before heading out.

He added: “Stay as part of a group and climb as at least a pair, take all the relevant equipment for whatever you are planning to do and take some form of communication as well, just in case there is an accident.”