Mark Phillips, who worked for the Highlands Council, was climbing with a friend on Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, when he suffered serious head injuries, The Scotsman reported. A rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth arrived at about 12:30 p.m. Monday and an attempt was made to get Phillips on a stretcher and into the Sea King.
The newspaper said it had learned a rope attached to the stretcher was cut, causing a fatal plunge. It said Northern Constabulary and the Royal Air Force are believed to be conducting independent investigations.
Phillips, an environmental health officer in Fort William, had moved to Scotland from England. His wife, Caroline, said he had been walking in the Highlands for several days with friends.
"Mark and I, together with our son, Ruaridh, had moved to the Highlands about 12 years ago so as to live amongst the hills and community we had got to love," she said.
Eleven people have been killed in the mountains of Scotland since Jan. 1.