A BRITISH mountaineer is seriously ill in hospital and has had to have his leg amputated after a climbing accident.

The 32-year-old also suffered a fractured skull in the accident on 22,837ft Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, the highest outside Asia.

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The man was climbing on Mount Aconcagua[/caption]

The unnamed Brit reportedly fell near Condor’s Nest, the site of a high base camp, when he was at just over 20,000 feet.

He was evacuated by helicopter before being driven to Hospital Central in the western Argentinian city of Mendoza by an ambulance with a police escort to speed up his arrival.

The alarm was raised around 6pm local time on Tuesday.

Local officials said he had suffered a fracture to the base of his skull and the amputation of his right leg as a result of his fall.

He is said to have been unconscious and in a “serious condition” when he was admitted to hospital. There has not yet been any update from the hospital.

Tuesday’s accident happened three days after a 55-year-old French climber was left fighting for his life after falling near the same spot.

He suffered multiple injuries including chest injuries and a skull fracture.

He remained in intensive care yesterday on a breathing machine with local reports saying doctors were considering transferring him to the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires.

Aconcagua is in the main Andes range and lies 70 miles northwest of Mendoza and just nine miles from Argentina’s border with Chile.

Altitude sickness is a problem that affects most climbers. The normal route from the route is the easiest with the other routes, especially the south face climb, considered quite difficult.

Around 75 per cent of climbers are foreigners, with those from the UK leading the way after Americans and Germans.

British tourist Roger Cookson, 58, died in January 2015 after falling ill as he tried to scale Aconcagua with a friend and local guide.

They were just 1,640ft from the summit when the Scot suffered respiratory failure.

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