Motherwell pensioner Freddie phoned family from mountain top before falling to his death

A pensioner from Motherwell who had been climbing munros for over 50 years has tragically died on a mountain near Glencoe.

Freddie Rae, 74, was found by a mountain rescue team on Beinn a’ Chrulaiste after the alarm was raised when he failed to return from his hillwalk on May 11.

It’s understood he fell to his death just moments after making a final phone call to his family on Saturday.

The super-fit granddad-of-two had left his home in Lanarkshire and headed to the Highlands to “make the most of the weather”, as the country enjoyed soaring temperatures.

An experienced climber, he had already reached the summit and took in the breathtaking views, before tragedy struck on his descent.

Freddie’s devastated son Peter Rae, 39, told the Daily Record how his dad had called his brother to say he’d reached the top, and that he was in great spirits.

Peter said: “Dad died doing what he loved. He got to the top of the mountain at 3.30pm on Saturday and phoned my brother to say he had made it.

“He told him about the super views and what a great day it was to climb it. He was so happy.”

Peter led the tributes to his dad, who had bagged 200 Munros in over 50 years of hillwalking.

He often joined his dad as he conquered various Munros across Scotland and has fond memories of going wild camping in the Cairngorms.

“Dad was a positive man, an inspiration to all us,” Peter continued. “He kept us all together and now we’re left picking up the pieces.

“He was very experienced which makes what has happened all the more of a shock. He took up hillwalking in the 70s and just lived for it.

“I’m glad I wasn’t brought up with iPads - instead I got to learn loads from my dad about the Scottish hills.

“Recently he took his two granddaughters up Munros as well.

“He would help anyone who had never climbed hills before to make sure they were kitted out and safe.”

Freddie’s family have paid a heartfelt thanks to the 14 members of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue, who did their best to find him after concerns were first raised around 7.15pm on Saturday, and urged the public to donate to the rescue team’s fundraiser to help them continue their heroic work.

Peter added: “It wasn’t the outcome we all wanted, but thanks to Glencoe Mountain Rescue, we were able to find my dad and bring him home.

“The whole family is indebted to them. I don’t think they get enough respect for what they do. They are putting their lives at risk as well.”

A spokesperson for Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team said: “Our condolences to the man’s friends and family. You are in our thoughts at this time.”

.A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We were made aware of concern for an overdue hillwalker in the Glencoe area around 7.15pm on Saturday, 11 May.

“The Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team carried out a search and the body of the 74-year-old man was found on Beinn a’ Chrulaiste.”

They added: “His body has been recovered and his of kin are aware. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

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