/ Ben Hope fatalities RIP

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2 dead on Ben Hope. No details as yet. 

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leon 1 on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale: Not much on the BBC news yet

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-47147811

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In reply to leon 1:

Can't ever remember a fatality on this hill in 50 years of hill-going. 

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paul mitchell - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I just emailed the ukc staff re this.

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paul mitchell - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Footless Crow website may or may not be accurate.

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wcdave - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to paul mitchell:

Footless Crow are correct with their information. 

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In reply to wcdave:

That is absolutely terrible news.

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Eric9Points - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I've had an email from the SMC telling me that Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry died on Ben Hope.

It is believed they fell while moving roped together on the upper slopes of the hill having completed their route.

Post edited at 23:04
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pasbury on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Desperately sad news. I’m sure they had a bloody good day out before the horrible event.

Post edited at 23:31
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purplemonkeyelephant - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

RIP  

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ena sharples - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

if true, that is awful news. I spent a week climbing with Andy on a Martin Moran course. A nicer guy you could not hope to meet, inspirational and encouraging in his superb instruction. The true measure of the guy for me was on the last day of the course when we arrived at our venue, only for me to discover I had left my climbing helmet back at base. upon announcing this, instead of the (well deserved and merited) bollocking I expected Andy just smiled and volunteered his own helmet to me without demur or hesitation. A truly top bloke who will be both missed and remembered in equal measure.

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Myr - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Very sad news. I had only read briefly of Steve in reports, but felt quite influenced by Andy, inspired by his life in the mountains. He seemed - having only shared a few words with him in a wintry corrie - to be of the mountains, and balanced a deeply fulfilling life there with his work to pass that fulfillment on to others - not unlike that other great Aberdonian man of the hills that passed just two weeks ago.

It's a shame that mods deleted people's earlier messages paying respect in this and the other thread; no doubt out of consideration for families when names were just emerging more widely online.

Respect to the MRTs for a difficult and protracted operation, and deep condolences to Andy and Steve's families.

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Minneconjou Sioux on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

This is honestly horrendous news. Condolences to both families.

A huge loss to Scottish Mountaineering.

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Doghouse - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Really shocking news. Condolences to Andy and Steve's families. 

A huge loss.

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Doug on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Doghouse:

I went to bed last night hoping the earlier reports (eg Ken Crocket on Twitter) were wrong but I've just seen this in the record

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/two-climbers-who-fell-scotlands-13963558

so its confirmed. Its a few years since I've seen Andy but have known him since the late 70s & lived nearby for a while in Aberdeen & later in Boat of Garten & its difficult to take in this news. With Adam Watson dying recently we've lost two of the people I most associate with the North East and the Cairngorms

Goodbye Andy, RIP

Post edited at 06:20
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abr1966 - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Doug:

Just woke to hear this news....really hard to take in. Its always tragic news to hear of fatalities in the hills but especially so on this occasion.

Like.many others I liked and had a huge respect for Andy, a nicer guy you would not find. His love and enthusiasm, coupled with great knowledge, wisdom and kindness is a great loss to the climbing community.

I didn't know Steve but I'm sure he was of the same ilk.

Rip, thoughts and condolences to family and friends. 

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BelleVedere on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to abr1966:

> I didn't know Steve but I'm sure he was of the same ilk.

aye - he was. 

it was only after climbing with him that i discovered his epic LEJOG 3000ft/munros round...  

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Jasonic on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to abr1966:

Terrible news - met Andy once staying at the Ling hut- charming helpful & funny.

RIP Andy & Steve.

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soularch on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Worth a revisit: https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/60_years_of_andy_nisbet-5521

A one-off. A Gent. Sad news indeed.

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ben b - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

That's terrible news. It's impossible to overestimate the impact Andy in particular has had on winter climbing in Scotland over the last decades. All that skill and knowledge - and some good humans. Too sad.

Rest in peace.

b

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Andy Moles - on 07 Feb 2019

Very sad news.

That Andy was a legend hardly needs repeating, a godfather figure of Scottish climbing. I knew Steve only a little bit but he was a great person as well, the sort of guy you felt was your friend as soon as you'd met him.

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Trangia on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

What appalling and shocking news. 2 great people and also contributors to our UKC community.

RIP Steve and Andy

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BALD EAGLE - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Desperately sad news. Although I never met Andy, I had corresponded with him on a number of occasions regarding guidebook images + routes and he was always unfailingly kind and helpful. A terrible loss to Scottish mountaineering so my sincere condolences to all of Andy and Steve's family and friends.

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Wee Davie - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I didn’t know Andy very well but the few times I did climb with him he was very warm & friendly. He was totally enthusiastic about climbing no matter the grade. When we went on Ben Lomond it says it all that after doing a new grade V I was all for walking off back to the car but he was totally set on getting his money’s worth and did a further 3 FAs on wee easier gullies nearby. After joining him for 2 of them I really couldn’t be arsed descending yet again but he wasn’t to be put off by my laziness. Down he went, only to pop up over the cornice a few minutes later smiling as ever. Andy was a machine, a real Scottish climbing legend and a genuinely lovely guy. RIP. 

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Deleted bagger - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Really shocking news. Condolences to their families. I'd met Steve a couple of times. I was very impressed with his winter round of Munros. Andy was a incredibly knowledgeable figure in Scottish mountaineering. We've all benefitted from his wealth of experience. 

RIP

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Iain Thow - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to soularch:

Nice article, sad occasion. I only went up the hill with Andy once (in Fisherfield) but had lots of dealings with him about routes and guidebooks. He was easily the most knowledgeable person about Scottish climbing that I've ever met, was always helpful and endlessly enthusiastic about the hills. An irreplaceable loss. I only got to know Steve more recently (ironically because of Ben Hope) but he always came over as a lovely bloke and will be really missed. Characters the pair of them.

RIP Andy and Steve

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buzby - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Met Andy a few times while he was working for Martin Moran and I was on a winter course, came across as a true gent and thoroughly nice guy who took the time to help you whatever level you were climbing at. Sad news indeed. 

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jon on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

What terrible and unbelievable news. Makes me very sad.

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Rick Graham on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to buzby:

Devastating news.

I only met Steve and Andy a few times, but climbed with them together in Glencoe last summer.

Two of the kindest people you could wish to meet, both obsessive about the Scottish hills and climbing in general in the nicest possible way.

RIP

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Simon Caldwell - on 07 Feb 2019
nocker - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Truly shocking and very sad. For me Andy epitomised all that is best about UKC Forums. On a number of occasions I posted asking for run of the mill logistical information about Scottish Classic Rock destinations. I was astounded when the legend that was Andy Nisbet responded with the necessary information and invariably some additional nuggets, with the obvious fact that I was a mere punter irrelevant to him. Sad to say, I was tempted to invent some enquiries, just to get a response from him and feel some very tenuous connection to such a folk hero. RIP Gentlemen.

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jazzyjackson on 07 Feb 2019

Only met Andy once. Bumbling around in the norries on one of my first winter routes. My rope was stuck and it was getting dark.

Andy appeared and i think he could tell we were getting stressed about the rope, he romped up the route without a 2nd thought to free it for us.

We were taken aback by his effortless and speedy progress up the bottom of the route.

He had an air of calm mountain wisdom about him. 

Andy was synonymous with Scottish winter. A huge loss.

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ericinbristol - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

This is awful. I didn't know Steve Perry but my condolences nevertheless.

I climbed with Andy quite a few times, some guided some not. He was absolutely brilliant to climb with. On one trip conditions were uncertain and we met up about 7 am. He had got up super early, walked in, located just about the only bit of ice around, then walked out to get me.  Also, had an amazing time with him on-sight mixed new routing - he was so confidence-inspiring. Another time, the conditions were crazy with wind, lots of snow and spindrift - took *five hours* to walk in, the sort of day you wouldn't get out of bed. But I trusted him and sure enough we got something done. Really opened my eyes to the possibilities. A lovely person with an utterly boundless commitment to Scottish winter climbing. He will be sorely missed by many many people.  

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C Witter on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Awful and shocking news.

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SuperstarDJ - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Very sad news. RIP and condolences to their families and friends.

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Colin Wells - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I am so upset by this I can't even begin to formulate any words that might form any kind of tribute. But Heavy Whalley's eloquent immediate reaction to the news will come close to expressing what many of us will be feeling. The quotation of Dave Bathgate's poetic eulogy to departed adventurers at the end is especially poignant - – although I admit I am now in pieces after reading it.

http://tinyurl.com/ya4fvcz7

Post edited at 11:37
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Smelly Fox - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Colin Wells:

Very sad to hear this. One of my “proudest” moments was beating Andy walking in to the base of a winter climb in Glen Avon many years ago, despite him being 30 years my elder at the time! A true Scottish mountaineering legend.

I never met Steve, but he’s a friend of a friend, and it’s sad our paths never crossed, as he seemed one of the most enthusiastic climbers around and I would have loved to have got on a route with him. His new routing and photos of the wilds of Scotland are an inspiration.

RIP gents.

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Belle74 - on 07 Feb 2019

Very sad news and my condolences to both families. May they both rest in peace.

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Doug on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Colin Wells:

Thanks for the link, I've been trying to refind that poem for some time now - always brings a tear to my eye, and even more so today

edit to add, see  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-47156648

Post edited at 11:56
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Rick Graham on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Colin Wells:

> I am so upset by this I can't even begin to formulate any words that might form any kind of tribute. But Heavy Whalley's eloquent immediate reaction to the news will come close to expressing what many of us will be feeling. The quotation of Dave Bathgate's poetic eulogy to departed adventurers at the end is especially poignant - – although I admit I am now in pieces after reading it.

Thanks for the link, Colin , I have been in pieces since learning of the unconfined reports last night.

Sadly two more to add to the list of people who I have climbed with who have been taken by the sport we all love. I dare not try to add up the total number in case I miss somebody. It will take a few days until I must go on the crags or mountains again myself, but it is inevitable.

A cruel sport at times, but the most rewarding for me, what else can we do?

Steve and Andy would agree.

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Rob Naylor - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Very sad news.....I didn't know Steve at all, but met Andy a few times on the hill. As others have said, the way he treated "bumbly punters" like me, both in real life and on the forums, showed what a great guy he was. RIP both of them.

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Harry_James_Climbing - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Colin Wells:

Thank you so more for the link Colin. The poem at the bottom has almost hit me harder than any other one has before, truly beautiful writing, truly fantastic men.

RIP to them both and my condolences to their families and friends 

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Neil Anderson - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Sad news. RIP Andy and condolences to all his friends and family.

Like many others Andy was an inspiration to me and the 'godfather' of new routing/exploration - a mind of information on all things Scottish Winter.

If it wasn't for Andy dragging me up the ' Goat track' on a winter skills course 30 years ago at the Lodge, I might never have found my passion in life. RIP Andy.  

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kathrync - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

What a loss.  Despite not knowing either of them personally I was inspired by their achievements and found them both to be friendly and helpful characters on here.  The mountaineering community will feel their absence.

Huge condolences to their family and friends, and also to the MR team members who were involved in the incident.

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Wayne - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to kathrync:

I’ve never been much of a contributor on this forum but felt I had to say something as Andy has been an inspiration to me for 30 years.

Rest in peace Andy

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Welsh Kate - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I clocked Steve's winter Munro round just when I was getting back into hillwalking after a very long break. An amazing achievement, and an encouragement for me with my 'I'm not camping, let alone camping in winter' attitude to reconsider that camping in winter might be ok!

RIP Steve and Andy.

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kenneM - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Terribly sad news. Thank you both for being a key driving force of inspiration to explore the Scottish mountains; enriching so many lives.  My condolences to friends and family. RIP

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Dave Hewitt - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Very sad news - it's been a bad spell for notable Scottish hill people generally. As per other comments, I found both Andy and Steve to be amiable and helpful - I knew them a little through correspondence (don't think I actually met Steve at all; Andy and I once had a chat at a Munro Society do). My contact with them was regarding research - mainly Munro-related stuff as Steve picked my brains a bit regarding continuous rounds and I in turn picked Andy's brains about 1970s/80s and Aberdeen-ish completions.

For all that the focus is inevitably on the climbing side, it shouldn't be forgotten that Andy did five rounds of Munros. For the record, these ended thus:
13/7/72 on Seana Bhraigh
25/6/84 on Gulvain
7/9/96 on Schiehallion (this was also Gill's completion)
29/12/09 on Stob a' Choire Odhair
16/9/15 on Ben More Mull

The SMC website has a lovely photo of the young (and clean-shaven?!) Andy on his first finish:
https://www.smc.org.uk/hills/completionist/107

There was also a round of Corbetts, ending 17/9/00 on Ben Tirran (again this was Gill's completion too). Andy told me his first Corbett had been Brown Cow Hill in 1968.

Steve famously did two continuous and self-propelled rounds of Munros - a summer one plus a LEJoG and a Furths round, ending 26/9/03; and the winter one, ending 31/3/06. Both rounds - unsurprisingly but now very poignantly - ended on Ben Hope.

Two very big gaps in the Scottish hill world. Condolences to family and friends.

Post edited at 14:42
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nuts and bolts on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Truly terrible news. Although I never met either Andy or Steve I honour what they brought to the exploration of the mountains I love. 

RIP to both. 

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L RamblerDangler on 07 Feb 2019

Really terribly sad news.

Like others, I met Andy several times on Martin Moran courses in the early '90s and he was always an exceptional Guide, a true (ethically-pure) inspirational Mountaineer and Climber, and a thoroughly excellent bloke. 

Sincere condolances to all his family and close friends for their great loss.

It's a small consolation, but at least we know he was in a place he loved, doing something he loved, and seemingly with a close friend. Better that than a car accident on the A9, or a wasteful illness, or...?  

But still lost to us far too soon. (      

RIP

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DR - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Horrible, horrible news. I had never met either of them (and didn't know a lot about Steve Perry tbh) but Andy was an inspiration to me at the start and throughout my Scottish winter climbing life, such as it is. In that respect he is up there as the more modern day equivalent of WH Murray, Tom Patey, Robin Smith and others. In all other respects he belongs in that group too.

RIP and condolences to the family and friends of all involved.

Davie

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fairweatherclimber - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Awful news.

Always inspired by their exploits and encouraged by the resources they created to support other climbers venturing further.

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Rick Graham on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to fairweatherclimber:

This topic discussion did not get off to the best of starts, there were at least two requests to close it down before it descended into the worst UKC can offer.

However, it is now showing what a careing community we can be.

For the record.

Any early death is a tragedy for family friends and others involved.

Any early death involving a climbing accident , people you know, people you have climbed with , competent , accomplished, enthusiastic , kind helpful friendly personallities , just makes everything so much harder to cope with.

RIP Steve and Andy.

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pasbury on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to DR:

>  In that respect he is up there as the more modern day equivalent of WH Murray, Tom Patey, Robin Smith and others. In all other respects he belongs in that group too.

Absolutely!

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Doug on 07 Feb 2019
DT on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Just terrible news. A giant of a man is gone. Self-effacing, sweet-toothed, generous-sprited true pioneer. Look at those winter first ascent lists and the enthusiasm shines through.

I was with him for a week on a Martin Moran an age ago. He showed me how to place gear in pouring rain on some dire, tiny Torridon crag, and didn't  complain when I lost his no. 5 nut. How to walk in crampons, and make the most of a poor day. When I suggested some routes I'd like to try after the course, he just said "You'll be fine" and from him that's all I needed.

Years later a nodded greeting in passing on some Munro. I wish I'd stopped and said how I'd found him, his instruction an inspiration.

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no_more_scotch_eggs - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Just been listening to a tribute on PM on radio 4 from Cameron McNeish. Utterly remarkable achievements from both Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry; and Andy’s wisdom and insight on threads here was a huge asset to the forums. My condolences to their families. 

Post edited at 18:15
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Sophie G. - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

When Simon and I heard yesterday evening, we changed our original plan and named the new route we'd just climbed after them. It's Brothers In Arms, VI,6.

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Andy Macpherson on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I’ve hardly been climbing in years and drifted out of touch with great companions with whom I’ve been privileged to spend numerous wonderful trips and share great times in the hills. Some of them will be hit especially hard by this news and condolences to you as well as to Andy and Steve’s relations and loved ones. Lives well lived.

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mattrm - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Awfully sad news.  Andy's contributions on the forums were always full of lots of excellent knowledge.  He has been a great inspriation to me over the years.  I met him once in the Northern Corries.  The BMG I was doing a course knew him well and I by reputation.  Well couldn't be anyone else with that beard could it?  We exchanged a few words, seemed like a nice but quiet guy.  I supposed it's a small comfort that he died following his passion.  But still terribly sad.

I've never heard of Steve Perry, but he sounds like a top guy as well.  Rest in peace both.

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Ian Parnell - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Completely gutted to hear the sad news of the death of Andy and Steve yesterday.

I only met Steve a couple of times and unfortunately didn’t get to do a route with him, but I have strong memories of a shared day out a few winters back. Conditions were far from certain and so the venue of Beinn Eighe was one of those hopeful punts that all too often don't turn up trumps in Scotland. My two partners and I were therefore heartened to find Steve gearing up in the car park with Dave Macleod and realize we weren’t the only dreamers. All I really knew about Steve at that time was that he was legendary for his enthusiasm. As we shared breaking trail up and over the summit, the day dawned clear and bright, dropping down round the edge of the Far East Wall we began to realize that the cliff was in prime condition, with plenty of rime and sporting an impressive selection of icicles. Steve couldn’t contain himself and began whooping, a celebration that became infectious. Throughout our parallel route, my team were treated to a near continuous stream of superlatives from Steve, as he and Dave climbed the route Sundance. It struck me at the time that I don’t think I’d heard anyone enjoying something so much.

Andy I knew a little better. First I guess as ‘a myth’ – the beard, the drive (ing) and the determination. Then through repeating his routes – anyone who’s climbed the Unicorn or the Needle in winter will boggle at the sheer audacity of Andy and Colin Maclean to take on these lines in 1985. And the story is the same at almost all the major cliffs of Scotland – Dubh Loch, Lochnagar, Beinn Bhan, Eighe, Liathach… big beefy futuristic lines. It was therefore a real surprise when I met the man to find the hard man image of him I’d built up, shattered by what a modest, softly spoken and generous guy he was. If one adds up the contribution Andy made to Scottish and British climbing not just with his decades of new routes, but the effort he put into guide book production and the amount of people he introduced to climbing through his guiding work – he stands up there with the greatest in British climbing. In fact I think you need to think of someone like Gabarrou in the Alps or Robbins in America to get a real measure. Andy was world class, as a climber and as an individual. 

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bonebag - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to ena sharples:

Yes. I also met Andy on a Martin Moran course. Ok it was in 1989 but I clearly remember Andy leading us up the Cioch on a wet and windy day on one day and then taking us to Shieldaig another day to climb on a calm sunny day when the rest of Scotland was getting a battering.

Saw him again a year or two ago at the Kendal Film Festival but he never got to speak as earlier speakers overun their slots. It would have been good to hear.

Couldn't believe it today when my wife told me. I saw a message last night on the Scottish Winter Facebook forum to say two climbers had died on Ben Hope. It only gave first names but I would never have dreamt  Andy Nisbet would have been one of them. 

He must have been No. 1 on the Scottish winter scene in recent times.

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DNS on 07 Feb 2019

I had the great pleasure to climb with Andy for three successive years between Christmas and New Year. He dragged me up the classics in the northern corries with great enthusiasm, even though he has been up the lot countless times before.

He taught me the invaluable lesson of driving up to the carpark early, but then waiting for the first university minibus to arrive and for the youth to break the trail. We just had to jog on the last hundred yards to beat them to the cliff and have our first choice of route.

Happy days.

RIP both.

D

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Tom Last - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

So sad. Never met either of them but  both of their contributions were hugely inspiring. Rest in peace. 

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scoth on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian Parnell:

I didn't know much about Steve, until reading stuff on here, but he sounds like someone I would have liked to gone climbing with anywhere, either on a winter mountain crag or down at the local quarry.  as for Andy, when I read the news this morning, it prompted the same feeling in me as when I heard the news about Ueli Steck. Just disbelief. 

I met Andy once, at the Pass of Ballater on a typical sunny Saturday there. At the time I didn't know who he was, we just chatted throughout the day, as we bumbled around doing the odd route, we talked about grades, moves, the usual crag talk, I just thought he was a fellow punter like myself, scratching around on the odd VS and HVS. He was just a typical friendly guy, but i do remember he took great interest in what you had to say.

It wasn't until afterwards my climbing partner told me who he was. XX

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Eric9Points - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I last met Andy around Easter of 2014. A while ago but I still think of him as a friend and hope that he was still thinking the same of me. 

I met Andy through Dave McGimpsey and spent perhaps a couple of dozen happy days out on the hill with the pair of them. Steve I never met but I'm sure that he was a nice guy like all of Andy's regular partners.

There's so much that's been written in the previous posts that ring true to me about Andy. There's nothing written above that I disagree with, nothing at all. His kindness and politeness, his encyclopedic knowledge of the Scottish hills, his quiet determination and physical toughness. The sum of those added up to a remarkable man.

Dave once told me that Andy had a secret ambition to put up a new winter route on every crag in Scotland and at the time he wasn't far from fulfilling his wish. Ever since then when I read about a first ascent on some new and esoteric winter crag that wasn't done by Andy I wonder if he was cursing that that was another one he'd have to visit. His passion for new routes both Summer and winter, but especially winter, was extraordinary and the accompanying lack of morality around new routing was shocking for someone who was otherwise untiringly considerate and polite. I write this with a smile on my face, you can do no other with Andy, but I think it's safe to say he fell out at least temporarily with most of his regular partners over new routes. I recall one episode where he and Dave had arranged to do a new route somewhere in Lochaber. Dave was living in Ayrshire and Andy in Boat of Garten so Andy and someone else arranged to meet Dave at a layby somewhere. Unfortunately Dave crashed his car on the way and phoned Andy to call it off. Andy of course did the route anyway. I'm not sure it even occurred to him that maybe he should leave it for when Dave got a new car. Another time we were at Logie Head on the Moray coast. Dave and I had spotted what we thought might be a new area that was worth developing. Rather than go over for a look and give the game away to Andy who would have been back like a shot to pick off as many lines as possible, we drove back to Aviemore that night only to return the next day for a good look. It turned out to be a heap of crap and I suspect, Andy had probably checked it out years before anyway.

Thinking back to that day at Logie Head I'm pretty sure it was a day in early May or late April. It was the first day out on real rock for the year. We picked Andy up in Boat of Garten and he mentioned he'd been up the Ben the day before. He'd soloed a line on the Orion face up the last remaining icefalls, while keeping an eye out for any of said icefalls making a break towards Tower Gully. Not a bad day out for an old guy but made remarkable by the fact that he was going into hospital for a hip replacement in a few days time. He'd arranged the timing of the op so he would be recovered and fit for the next winter. Most of us wouldn't have tackled a flight of stairs in his condition.

A few fond memories.

I think someone earlier said that Andy was of the hills and I thought that a very good way of putting it. Although Andy had climbed abroad all his life, on Everest even, he seemed to me as much a part of the Highlands as the water in the burns or the peat on the hillside and if you'd given him the option of how to leave this life then checking out quickly after completing another new route on a lesser known Scottish hill might not have seemed a bad option to him. From now on whenever I catch myself trying to trace lines up some obscure piece of rock in a remote corner of Scotland I'm sure I'll feel as if Andy's standing beside me squinting up and wishing we had a pair of binoculars.

And for all that, despite him being the most extraordinary climber Scotland has as ever seen that's not why I'll miss him. I'll miss Andy because on top of everything he was one of the nicest men I've ever known.

Post edited at 22:26
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Dr.S at work - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

This seems to be a thread that should allow likes.

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Tim Sparrow on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Raising a glass tonight to an inspirational legend.

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Flinticus - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Tom Last:

Likewise. Both names that meant something to me. My sympathies to their family and friends. 

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In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Just back from a walk in the Torridon Hills today. Thought a lot about these guys today and the loss they are to climbing in Scotland but more importantly to their families and many friends.  Bumped into Andy in the hills on several occasions in the north west over the years.  Latterly always an inspiration to those on the wrong side of 60 in particular. {Like me!} A true pioneer of Scottish winter climbing and a fitting inheritor of the legacy of Tom Patey.  

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mike barnard - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> We picked Andy up in Boat of Garten and he mentioned he'd been up the Ben the day before. He'd soloed a line on the Orion face up the last remaining icefalls, while keeping an eye out for any of said icefalls making a break towards Tower Gully. Not a bad day out for an old guy but made remarkable by the fact that he was going into hospital for a hip replacement in a few days time. He'd arranged the timing of the op so he would be recovered and fit for the next winter. > 

There's lots of good Andy stories like that. He'd managed to get a hernia OP arranged for early April one year, which didn't seem like too bad timing. Unfortunately it was the great 12/13 winter which at the time was still in full swing! Despite this, I believe he did a record 72 or thereabouts new routes that winter, and was back guiding someone up Indicator Wall just before it finished. 

Post edited at 23:05
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EarlyBird - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Yes.

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rogerwebb - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

> And for all that, despite him being the most extraordinary climber Scotland has as ever seen that's not why I'll miss him. I'll miss Andy because on top of everything he was one of the nicest men I've ever known.

Likewise. 

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Minneconjou Sioux on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I feel that a time like this requires some story telling. I feel that human beings are story tellers and that this fulfills a desire in us to keep things eternal. I think that story telling helps those of us who have been touched by this, no matter how close we are to the actual events or people, and one day allows those who are bereaved to retain the connection. I perhaps don't have the words or the eloquence to carry this off as well as others might, but I feel I have a story to share.

When I first saw the news of these tragic events it was somewhat confused, perhaps a little speculative, perhaps too soon and I hoped against hope that it wasn't true. When I saw the names, I of course knew who Andy was, and like so many on here, I can't say I knew him well but our paths had crossed and it had always been a pleasant interaction. But Steve's name rang a bell and I wasn't sure why and when it dawned on me who he was it took me back to times and places that I hadn't been for a while. 

Almost 20 years ago, in December 1999, myself, Jim Hall and Shona Comrie set out on a bright and clear winter's day in the Northern Highlands to climb a line on Ben Hope. Conditions were perfect and rare for this mountain that lies so close to the sea. This was to be my first ever Scottish Winter climb having only previously done Banana Gully on Y Garn and Jim was the leader and the experienced winter climber. I had a pair of walking crampons and a couple of mis-matched walking axes but myself and Shona were simply there to belay Jim and follow him up. We had an awesome day, topping out in the dark, having completed a new route that is now known as "Petticoat Direct". 

The sight of headlamps on the North face of Ben hope 20 years ago was such a rare event that it aroused the suspicions of the local constabulary in Tongue who contacted the shepherd from the nearest Estate to come out and check on us. When we got to the bottom of the normal ascent track he was waiting for us in his landrover and happily gave us a ride back to our car which was parked a couple of miles down the road and nearer the start of our climb. It saved us some sore feet, that was for sure.

Although a new route, there was no desire to report it. The old Northern Highlands guidebook was still in print and there was still (I think) an unwritten moratorium on describing new climbs in the region.

Myself and Jim continued to put up new routes along the sea cliffs of the north coast over the next few years and then we heard that Andy Nisbet was putting together a new guidebook (which eventually turned into North Highlands - North) so we sent in our route descriptions and I think Jim did most of the correspondence with Andy on putting things together. I do know that it was a significant amount of work for Andy and I fully appreciated the effort he put into it. I imagine that is when "Petticoat Direct" first got a mention.

As a new router who was better at "bold" rather than technical, I was always left wondering if I had graded things correctly. We were only just entering the internet age and the number of climbers who visited the north coast could be counted on the fingers of one hand.

I then moved to Canada and thought nothing more of our climbs until I got an email from an enthusiastic individual who wanted to know more about the climbs Jim and I had put up in Totegan Geo. You can imagine how chuffed I was. Here was someone who was going to validate our climbs and perhaps confirm some grades. The individual enthused about "Chicken Run" and I had to swallow my pride and admit that Andy had got this wrong. It was Jim Hall who originally lead Chicken Run and I was the second. I then tried to persuade him to have a go at "Go tell the Spartans" as I wasn't sure if I had over graded it. I don't know if he ever did it but he did do others of mine.

The individual was Steve Perry.

I'd like to thank you Steve for the feedback and for making me feel like I knew what I was doing. I'm so sorry about your passing. I hope you and Andy are still climbing hard somewhere. Rest In Peace both of you.

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mike reed - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

Nice words and memories Eric, well said.
I remember we had a long chat about new routes on the Moray coast. He couldn’t believe he’d missed Rosehearty!! A great guy. 

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Carless - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Absolutely gutted to hear this

Haven't seen Andy for years but have great memories of many fine days out with him – impossible to meet a nicer bloke

Here’s a photo taken in May 92 during an excellent 2 week trip in the Shetland Islands

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=22407

We discovered that Andy was not the greatest sailor and couldn’t wait to be out of Deflowerer so many of the first ascents were his

One particularly memorable trip was doing the Foot on Papa Stour

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=22412

https://www.ukclimbing.com/photos/dbpage.php?id=22422

Not Andy’s lead as it looked well ‘ard so Crag lead, which meant Andy stayed in the boat longer than usual. Because of heavy seas and current, we had to go all the way round Papa Stour to get back to Sandness. Andy was in the front of the boat in a t-shirt getting covered in spray concentrating on trying not to be sick. We’d say “Andy, put your waterproof on, it’s freezing” but he’d reply “No, can’t move”.

He almost had hypothermia by the time we landed

I didn’t know Steve but assume he was also a great guy

Condolences to family and friends

RIP

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RobbieAndBella - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Ian Parnell:

Thanks. Spot on.

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BruceM - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Oh Andy. You were a living Scottish Mountaineering God. Anybody who's ever browsed the mountaineering guidebook section of a bookstore, lurked a little on here, or bumped into you in the hills -- let alone been a friend, partner, or student of yours -- will know that that's a massive understatement. Now you've moved on to the next level. Simply a Scottish Mountaineering God. But I'd rather still hear your little nuggets of route, conditions, or gear advice on here. Or run into you on a mountain path. But perhaps now it's impossible not to? Maybe I'll just see you on that next mountain path. Travel well. 

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Jim Fraser - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Still hardly believing this. Hard to take it in.

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dale1968 on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

RIP 

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Ron Walker - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Jim Fraser:

Yes, same here and woke this morning thinking I was having a bad dream as I had chatted with both Andy and Steve recently. Must be extremely difficult for their very close friends, family and relatives

RIP Andy and Steve

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Sophie G. - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

thanks, Eric, that was a pleasure to read.

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planetmarshall on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

Understandably many of the tributes written have focused on Andy. Here's a lovely tribute to Steve from Simon Richardson.

http://www.scottishwinter.com/?p=6967

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Minneconjou Sioux on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

Lovely, and thanks for that. RIP

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Padraig on 08 Feb 2019

So great to read all the stories....

and although I didn't know them , I knew & admired them from afar.

They ....well there are no words really are there? 

RIP 

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darren s on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

Ian Parnell's and Simon's tributes are a pleasure to read.

I only met Andy briefly on two occasions but he was so down to earth and a pleasure to chat to given the gulf in our respective abilities !

RIP both

Post edited at 21:13
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IceBun - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

A tale about Andy here from back in the day. https://neiltmorrison.wordpress.com/2017/12/27/winter-goliath/   One of many good memories and a great example of his amazing drive and confidence when pioneering. 

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SenzuBean - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to The Watch of Barrisdale:

I never met either Andy or Steve, but eagerly read Andy's posts on UKC. I remember the first time I looked at his profile photo and saw what looked to me like a fiery-haired Gimli belaying from the propellor on Fuselage - I was awe struck! It was probably that photo of him having so much absurd fun that inspired me most to winter climb in Torridon.

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Captain Solo on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

Although I met Andy a few times and corresponded with him via email a lot regarding new routes in contrast to most so far I knew Steve much better. Mostly through climbing, naturally, either at the Inverness wall or at the crags. A really down to earth guy who was easy to get on with and was always interested in what you'd been doing.

I found he had that common trait present amongst the 'top' local climbers that although they operate at much higher technical grades they are genuinely interested in what mere bumbly punters like me have been up to. Just in it for the love of the game.

I'll miss that warm smile and thick Yorkshire accent, it was always a pleasure to bump into him no matter where.

Ewan.

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Jasonic on 09 Feb 2019
Wanderer100 - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to SenzuBean:

Same for me. I remember seeing that photograph and thinking wow. It impressed on me the beauty of Scottish winter climbing and whilst I never met Andy I did followed his winter climbing activities with with a lot of respect and admiration for what he had achieved. He gave me some advice over the web about climbing the Taschorn and told me how difficult he had found the traverse between the Taschorn and the Dom due to verglas. RIP and condolences to friends and family. 

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jon on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Wanderer100:

I remember that thread and just looked it up to re-read it. Nearly ten years ago. There was an absolute honesty about Andy's account.  

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Drexciyan - on 09 Feb 2019
In reply to Jasonic:

A brilliant and candid tribute.

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bonebag - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to planetmarshall:

A moving tribute to Steve.

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Doug on 10 Feb 2019
McHeath - on 10 Feb 2019
In reply to jon:

> I remember that thread and just looked it up to re-read it. Nearly ten years ago. There was an absolute honesty about Andy's account.  

Yes - you got me curious, so I looked it up too. Describing starting off at 4 pm to climb a major 4000er as "feeling a bit adventurous" made me laugh, but after having read all the other tales here of Andy's enthusiasm, drive and capability, it seems like business as usual! RIP Andy and Steve.

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/expedition+alpine/taschhorn_-_dom_traverse-369994

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Mark Bannan - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to Eric9Points:

I've met Andy, chatted with him at the crag on a few occasions and many times on-line, both on UKC, via the SMC and Facebook. Absolutely great guy - I'm very sorry at what happened. 

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