A woman had to be rescued Saturday after attempting to climb Britain’s tallest peak in blizzard conditions — despite being equipped with nothing more than shorts, running shoes and a selfie stick.
Sarah Albone, a 28-year-old competitive cross-country runner from Brighton, England, was on a mountain biking tour through Scotland when she spontaneously decided to attempt to climb 4,411-foot Ben Nevis mountain, the tallest in the British Isles.
Despite not telling anyone where she was headed and lacking an ice axe, crampons or any legitimate mountaineering equipment, Albone actually made it to the peak of the mountain.
Once there, however, blizzard conditions intensified on the peak, making it impossible for her to get back down. Soaking wet and exhibiting signs of hypothermia, she was eventually found by two pairs of climbers who were also making their way to the top of the mountain.
The climbers called a local rescue team, but due to heavy cloud cover and the strengthening storms, officials told the unknown climbers that the best chance of saving Albone’s life would be to try to take her off the mountain themselves. They acted quickly, sacrificing their own sleeping bags and dry clothing to warm her before helping her down the peak.
Ultimately they were successful in saving Albone’s life, but rescue authorities are condemning her actions as irresponsible and potentially dangerous to others.
“It’s just ridiculous going up there dressed like that and it’s freezing up there, and being irresponsible means others have to go out of their way to help,” Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team leader John Stevenson told the Daily Mail.
“It’s still a full blown winter up there just now. On Saturday night it could have been about [5 degrees Fahrenheit] with the wind chill.”
The severity of her foolish decision wasn’t lost on Albone. She took to a U.K. climbing forum to try to find and apologize to the climbers who rescued her.
“I was such a massive prick and I’m so sorry,” Albone wrote on the forum. “Not only do I never ever want to put myself or anyone else in that sort of situation again — I also would like to be able to help someone the way you all helped me.
“I was that tit that all proper climbers talk about. No ice pick/ poles/shelter any of the things that are appropriate for climbing a mountain. Just the stuff I had packed for the weekend and a stupid selfie stick.
“I kind of knew I was underprepared, and didn’t actually intend on getting to the top. I just sort of thought ‘Oh I’ve got this far — it’s not too bad — let’s carry on.'”
Albone wants everyone to know that she won’t make the same mistake again and has booked a mountaineering course to educate herself on the dangers of mountain climbing. Furthermore, she’s hoping to find a way to repay her rescuers.
“I don’t know what your respective local pubs are but let me know... I’d at least like to phone through and leave a drink behind the bar, having tried and failed yesterday at the Ben Nevis,” she wrote to her anonymous rescuers.
“Pretty sure this is obligatory when someone saves your life, right?”
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