A DIRECTOR at one of Scotland’s best-known outdoor clothing and equipment companies has died in a climbing accident.
Donald Tiso, whose father Graham founded the firm Tiso, which has 21 stores across Scotland, died after falling as he walked on a Munro near Fort William.
Police said the 50-year-old, who was hiking with a friend, was seriously injured after falling on the mountain.
He was flown to hospital by helicopter but pronounced dead on arrival.
It is thought Mr Tiso and a companion were walking on Ben Starav, a Munro near the village of Taynuilt, which is about 12 miles from Oban, when Mr Tiso slipped and fell.
Mr Tiso’s father, who was also a keen mountaineer, died in a tragic boating accident in 1992 when he was 57.
He started the company with his wife Maude in 1962. Tiso has since grown to become a household name, with outlets in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
The company recently announced it had sold a controlling stake in the business to JD Sports Fashion.
It is thought Mr Tiso and his companion had cycled to the bottom of the mountain from Bridge of Orchy.
Emergency services received a call from Mr Tiso’s climbing partner at 11:50pm on Friday. Oban Mountain Rescue Team and Police were called to the remote hillside and a Royal Navy rescue helicopter from HMS Gannet was scrambled.
Mr Tiso was flown by helicopter to Belford Hospital in Fort William, but was pronounced dead on arrival.
Last night a friend of the family said they were too upset to talk about the tragedy.
Police Scotland said: “We received a report that a 50-year-old man was seriously hurt on Ben Starav, near Taynuilt.
“Police and Mountain Rescue Teams were deployed and he was flown to Belford Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Enquiries are ongoing.”
A spokesman from Oban Mountain Rescue Team, said: “The details we got from the police when they asked us to attend were that they [Mr Tiso and his companion] were coming off the hill when the casualty had stumbled and injured himself.”
He said it had taken the mountain rescue team members about an hour to drive up to the scene of the incident by Land Rover, on a hillside track used by shepherds.
He added: “The Royal Navy helicopter from HMS Gannet had been scrambled and went in to where the casualty was reported to be, and then they rang and said the casualty was being taken to Fort William.
“The cloud level was quite high and there was a full moon, so it was quite visible for the helicopter.
“If it had been cloudy, or the helicopter couldn’t get in, or it was diverted to another job, we would have gone in.
“However, the mountain rescue team was then called back off the hill.”
Donald’s younger brother Chris is currently chief executive of Tiso. He took over the business in 1992 after his father died.
Chris survived a brain haemorrhage in 1999. He was driving to Prestwick Airport when it happened and was rushed to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where he underwent two operations.
After several weeks in recovery he returned to work.
The following year he joined an expedition to climb Mount Everest on which he suffered pneumonia and had to return home.