Climber dies following avalanche in Scottish Highlands

The incident happened at Creag Meagaidh, around 30km north east of Ben Nevis

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A casualty is taken from a search and rescue helicopter after an avalanche in the Creag Meagaidh area near Fort William. Image: Andrew Milligan / PA Wire/Press Association Images

One of the climbers who was rescued following an avalanche in the Highlands has died in hospital.

A search and rescue operation was launched after the avalanche in the Creag Meagaidh area.

Emergency services were called at 3.15pm on Wednesday afternoon.

A coastguard helicopter, several mountain rescue teams and search and rescue dogs were all scrambled to the area, around 30km northeast of Ben Nevis.

Two injured men were flown out by the helicopter and picked up by ambulances in Fort William.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman initially said both were in "a serious condition".

Police Scotland later issued an update saying one of the men had died.

Inspector Donald Campbell said: "Police Scotland would like to thank all rescue personnel involved in today's rescue for the rapid response and determination displayed in very challenging conditions.

"Sadly, one man succumbed to his injuries and his climbing companion remains in hospital."

The helicopter was diverted from an existing search for two missing climbers, Rachel Slater and Tim Newton.

The couple, aged 24 and 27, went missing while climbing Ben Nevis at the weekend.

Concerns were raised about the pair – from the Bradford area – on Monday afternoon.

Local Mountain Rescue said on its Facebook page that the search conditions were "very challenging".

"80/90mph winds with windchill giving temperature which feels like -20C," it said.

36 people were on the search team.

Ms Slater and Mr Newton were sleeping in a green tent and wearing climbing gear similar to that in the photograph supplied of them.

Both are described as very experienced climbers.