Climber dies in Highlands avalanche

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Published: Sunday 1st February 2015 by The News Editor

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A climber has died in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.

He was one of two men from Suffolk reported missing on Friday night after they failed to return from a climb on Coireag Dubh Mor in the Torridon area of the western Highlands.

Mountain rescue teams and the Stornoway coastguard helicopter searched for the pair on Friday night but were forced to call it off because the weather was so bad.

The search resumed yesterday afternoon and one of the climbers was found walking out to find assistance for the other man.

The two climbers had been caught up in an avalanche, police said.

The mountain rescue team found the other man but he had already died.

Police Scotland said both men were experienced climbers and had proper equipment. Heavy snow and strong winds have been persistent in the Highlands over the last month.

A force spokesman said: “On the Friday night police were alerted to two overdue climbers who had undertaken climbs on Coireag Dubh Mor in the Torridon area of the western Highlands.

“Torridon Mountain Rescue Team were alerted and air assistance was provided by Stornoway coastguard helicopter.

“Poor weather conditions made for difficult search conditions.

“The search continued during Saturday. One of the climbers was traced in the early afternoon, walking out to summon assistance for his companion. Both had been avalanched.

“His companion was subsequently traced, but did not survive.

“A report is being submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

In 2012, the last full year for which figures are available, rescue teams helped 720 people with 240 injured and 25 fatalities in Scotland’s mountains.

Advice was issued earlier this year to walkers, climbers and skiers.

Mark Diggins, from the Sportscotland Avalanche Information Service, said: ”Many thousands of enthusiasts enjoy the Scottish mountains every winter.

”However, the fast-changing weather, with its snowfall, avalanche hazard, strong winds and poor visibility, requires us to be much more prepared when going into the mountains in the winter.

”Good clothing, navigational ability, appropriate equipment, movement skills on steep terrain and use of ice axe and crampons are a necessary requirement for our enjoyment and safety.”

Published: Sunday 1st February 2015 by The News Editor

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