Sandy Allan described his late friend and fellow climber, Rick Allen, as an “amazing fellow” and explained that he is “staring into a huge void” after hearing the news of his death.
Rick Allen, from Aboyne, died after an avalanche on the world’s second highest peak, K2.
Mr Allan is currently in the Alps, meaning he received the news of his best-friend’s death while on his own climbing adventure.
Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Allan paid tribute to his friend who he described as a “solid, very reliable friend”.
The pair worked in the oil sector and have been friends since their early 20s.
He said: “Rick and I are best friends and we climbed a lot here in Chamonix and back home in Scotland – and of course we’re more famous for climbing in the Himalayas.
“We’ve had a bond for most of our lives, since our early 20s. Well, I’m staring into a huge void at the moment, I’m going to miss him a lot.”
Adventures together and one near-death experience
Mr Allan reminisced about their past adventures together and explained that there was nobody else in the world he could trust more than Rick when climbing above 8,000 meters in high altitudes, describing him as an “amazing climbing partner”.
He said: “Rick and I have got several incredible stories, and I suppose one of the first ones was when we did the Mazeno Ridge of Nanga Parbat which is one of the biggest climbed ridges in the world.
“It wasn’t climbed for a long long time and then eventually these two old guys from Scotland managed to climb it. That was a real tale of survival.”
He then recounted their more recent climb on Broad Peak which took place three years ago. The peak is 8,000 metres and is just next to K2 in Pakistan.
Despite the rest of the group turning back because of bad weather, Mr Allen went on and managed to summit by himself. However, he fell on the way back down and the group feared him dead.
Mr Allan said: “We actually thought he was dead, we couldn’t find him anywhere, and then totally by chance somebody – one of the troops at K2 basecamp – just happened to see a black dot high in the mountain.
“Some of our friends sent up a drone and we realised it was Rick. At first we thought he was dead, so we sent the drone up again and we buzzed it round his head and it kind of woke him up and we realised he was alive.”
They managed to rescue their friend with the help of people from the Broad Peak basecamp.
He lived ‘like a tiger rather than like a man’
Mr Allan believes his late friend died doing what he loved. He had been climbing K2 to raise money for charity Partners UK, which he is a trustee of.
With over 40 years of climbing experience, he had been attempting to open a new line on the south-east face of the mountain alongside two other climbers.
However, the climbers encountered an avalanche and Mr Allen died. His two comrades are said to be okay.
Mr Allan explained that his friend had lived many lives.
He said: “He’s lived many many lives and he lived like a tiger rather than like a man – he’s an amazing fellow and it’s really sad to see he’s been caught in an avalanche and taken away from us in K2.
“It’s a real shame that he’s gone, the good news is that his two climbing partners that he was with, one was hurt a little bit, but generally they’re okay and I understand they’ve both been rescued and they’re okay and the local people out there have managed to get Rick’s body and have taken it back to basecamp.
“I think the memory we should have is that he was doing exactly what he wanted to do and while it is very very sad I think Rick would be – not happy enough – but he’d be quite content wherever he is now.”