Robin Aylott and Ross Smith were climbing the tricky north face of the 4,409ft Ben Nevis in Scotland on August 8.

They used a mobile phone to call for help at 7.30pm, 11 hours after they set off.

Volunteers from the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team arrived within two hours and led them to safety.

A helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth then transported them out of the area.

Neither Mr Aylott, 32, of Beech Road, Farnborough, or Mr Smith, 25, of Tay Close, Farnborough, needed medical attention, but their plans to attempt further climbs were abandoned and they returned home this week.

Mr Aylott, head of mathematics at Oak Farm, has around eight years' climbing experience and the pair have been climbing together for the last six months.

They ran into difficulty halfway up the mountain in rain and thick fog.

Surrounded by 700ft drops, they decided it was too dangerous to continue.

"When that happened we decided there was no way we could go forward," said Mr Aylott.

"We didn't know the route to back-track and in those circumstances if you take a wrong step you won't be going back in a hurry.

"We decided to err on the side of caution."

Mr Smith added: "Three blokes from the mountain rescue team came up and showed us the way off. The chopper was waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain."

Although Ben Nevis can look peaceful a large number of fatalities and injuries occur on the mountain each year.

"The weather, people's own inexperience and being unprepared are the main causes," said a spokeswoman for Scotland's Northern Constabulary.

"You get people going up in shorts and trainers and the weather up there isn't suitable for that type of gear."

Despite their experience, both men are determined to return to conquer the mountain.

"It's got to be done," said Mr Aylott. "We got so close."