Two mountaineers have been found dead after attempting to climb a peak near Glen Coe in the Scottish Highlands. The two male climbers were found on Saturday, 16 January, by a mountain rescue team who have retrieved their bodies from the mountain.
Police were alerted by two other climbers who discovered the bodies on Stob Coire nam Beith at around 4.25pm. The officers were able to successfully direct the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team to the scene and the bodies of the men were located just before 7pm.
An investigation has now been launched into how the climbers came about their deaths. With the freezing, windy and snowy weather in the region over the weekend increasing the likelihood that an avalanche may have caused the deaths on one of Scotland's highest mountains.
In total 16 members of the mountain rescue scaled 2,300ft up the dangerous peak to reach the dead men. Andy Nelson, the leader of the mountain rescue team, said the pair could have fallen "several hundred feet".
"They were lying on the surface. They were young men. They were well equipped and the hill was coated with snow down to sea level," said Mr Nelson to the Mirror.
"The route they were on is commonly climbed but not one of the most popular in the area. It is only conjecture but it is possible they got caught up in an avalanche at the top of their climb.
"We don't know how far they had descended but it was probably several hundred feet. It was a typical winter day, snowing with wind on top. The avalanche risk in the area is considerable."
A Police Scotland spokesman confirmed that two men had been found dead. They said: "Sadly, the two climbers were found to be deceased. Further details will be released when available."
Almost exactly three years ago on the nearby Bidean nam Bian peak four climbers died in one of Britain's worst ever mountaineering disasters. The avalanche on 19 January 2013 claimed the lives of two men and two women belonging to a group of six people.
In March of that year the body of a skier who went missing after an avalanche in an off-piste area behind the Glencoe Ski Centre in the Etive Glades. Daniel Maddox, 41, from Clackmannanshire, was found dead in 18ft-20ft of snow.