The female student, from Bristol University, was with three others climbing on Ben Nevis when she plunged around 500ft.
The tragedy is the second death on Britain’s highest peak in the last few weeks.
Patrick Boothroyd, 21, from West Yorkshire, died when he fell on 16 December.
John Stevenson, of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, said that in the New Year’s Day incident, the woman and her friends had been climbing what is known as the “ledge route”.
He said: “I think the rocks would have been pretty icy. It was a big fall.”
The team took an emergency call at about 10.30am on Tuesday.
Mr Stevenson said: “We had to get the other three off the mountain – they were stuck. The weather cleared and the helicopter managed to get in and airlift them.
“The woman was located, she hadn’t survived.”
A statement posted on the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team Facebook page said: “The team had to recover a young climber who unfortunately lost her life following an accident on Carn Dearg on Ben Nevis.
“We pass on our sincere condolences to her family and friends. A very sad start to 2019.”
A spokesman for Bristol University confirmed one of its students had died during the hiking trip.
“The student was part of a larger group of students who had organised this new year trip to the highlands,” it said.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this student. This tragic accident will be deeply felt across our University community, and we will make sure we have support available to all those affected.”
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