Climber killed after avalanche on Ben Nevis causes horrific 2,000ft fall

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    A climber has been killed in an avalanche on Ben Nevis – the first such death in Scotland in nearly three years.

    The 49-year-old man was with a fellow climber on the UK's highest mountain when they plunged nearly 2,000 feet on the 4,413ft mountain's north face.

    The other climber, 42, miraculously survived but is said to have suffered serious injuries. Nearly 40 rescuers from Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams were sent after the alarm raised around 3.30pm on Friday.

    The pair, both UK based, were were a group of four on Number Two Gully, and the other two raised the alarm. But Donald Paterson, leader of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, said the initial information was "patchy".

    "It appears they were near the top and their weight made a cornice (an overhanging ledge of snow) give way and that triggered the avalanche," he said.

    "The wind conditions meant that the helicopter couldn't get in so the teams found the pair on top of the snow and stretchered them off the mountain.

    "They must have fallen 600 metres (1968ft) and the chap who survived was very lucky. Though badly injured he dodged a bullet while his friend didn't.

    "Sadly, so often, that is the luck of the draw. We wish to extend our condolences to the deceased's family and friends at this difficult time."

    A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Around 3.25pm on Friday, 30 December, 2022, we received a report of two people falling in an avalanche at Ben Nevis.

    “The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team were dispatched and a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.

    “A 42-year-old man was taken to Belford Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.”

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