Tributes for popular teacher killed in mountain climbing accident
The daughter of a Burnley teacher, who died after he fell climbing one of Britain's biggest mountains, has paid tribute to her father.
Mark Bowling, who taught graphic design at Sir John Thursby Community College, died instantly when he slipped while he was descending the 4.048ft summit of Aonach Beag near the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.
His eldest daugher, Leah, said:”My dad was a skilled and passionate climber with many years experience.
“The emergency services told us that he had all the correct equipment and was doing everything right but he simply lost his footing and fell.”
Mr Bowling, who had just turned 52 on Christmas Eve, was climbing with a friend who managed to contact emergency services and the Lochaber Mountain Mountain Rescue Team who raced to the scene. Mr Bowling was airlifted to hospital.
A keen photographer, who had several books published, Mr Bowling was a former pupil of Burnley Grammar School and he also previously taught at Colne’s Fisher More RC High School.
Tributes were pouring in from former students who Mr Bowling had taught over the years as the news of his death spread around the town.
Mr Bowling’s death is the first reported death on Scottish mountains this year but follows a number of high-profile rescue operations in the Highlands since January 1st.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Police in Lochaber can confirm that late Thursday afternoon emergency services were alerted to a male walker who had fallen whilst descending from the summit of Aonach Beag.
“Lochaber mountain rescue team were contacted and with the assistance of rescue helicopter 951 the man was rescued from the mountain, however, very sadly, he had sustained fatal injuries.”
Mr Bowling leaves his wife, Elaine and three other children, Georgia, Thomas and Matthew.