A dramatic photo of a Christmas Day rescue on Ben Nevis is being used to raise funds for Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.
The picture, taken by Steven Ingle, shows a helicopter lighting up the north face, where two climbers had got into trouble.
'We were renting a lodge for a Christmas get-together with the family when the helicopter passed over the top of our heads rushing for Ben Nevis' he said.
'I grabbed my camera and made a small tripod out of two rocks so I could get the photo framed and still.'
'The helicopter searched for a good hour up and down the north-east face, the hardest face on the mountain to climb.'
With help from a local business, Lochaber Embroidery and Printing, Steven has been selling the photo to raise money for the Lochaber team: A3 prints are on sale for £10
'The rescue was for two climbers who became cragfast near the top of Gardyloo Gully on Ben Nevis' a team spokesperson told us.
'They reached the crux pitch just below the cornice and due to conditions were unable to climb out or descend. We called for the assistance of Bristow’s SAR helicopter R951. The picture shows R951 searching for the location of the casualties. Unfortunately, after locating them the helicopter was unable to rescue the two people owing to the prevailing weather conditions which meant that the helicopter would be operating outside its safety limits. This meant them returning to Fort William to pick up team members and dropping them at the Half Way Lochan. The team members then made their way to the top of Gardyloo (near summit) where a team member was lowered down and then using a top rope got the casualties to safety. The guys then walked back down to half way to be transported back to base by the helicopter.'
'Fund raising is essential to maintain the voluntary mountain rescue service in Lochaber. Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team attended 130 incidents last year, putting in over 7000 hours of time on rescues alone. Without donations we would not be able to fund this operation. We require in excess of £100,000 per annum to fund our operations and we receive just over £20,000 per annum in form of government grant. Public donations fill the funding gap.'
For a print, contact Steven Ingle by email