Avalanche climbing party located

Times Series: A woman is in serious condition in hospital after an avalanche in Glencoe A woman is in serious condition in hospital after an avalanche in Glencoe

A party of six climbers caught up in an avalanche in Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands have all been located.

One man, who was part of the group of three men and three women, raised the alarm at about 2pm on Saturday and stayed with police and mountain rescue teams to help with the search.

A woman is in a serious condition in Belford hospital, Fort William, following the incident on Bidean Nam Bian, but Northern Constabulary would not confirm the conditions of those who had been missing and would not say if there had been any fatalities.

Mark Diggins, co-ordinator of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, said the weather conditions were fairly dry with little snow over the last four days.

He said Saturday's avalanche risk was deemed "considerable", second lowest on a European four-point scale.

The most serious is "very high", which is extremely rare in Britain.

"An avalanche is possible to be triggered by a single person," said Mr Diggins. "At the moment it doesn't look like there's much snow, it is very localised.

"You're really getting into areas which are 800 metres up because the wind packs the snow to make it hard."

David Gibson, chief officer and company secretary of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCoS), said Bidean Nam Bian is a munro - a mountain with a height in excess of 3,000ft - with a number of different climbs.

"It is a fantastic location to go climbing at this time of the year as it is very beautiful," he said. "It is always difficult in these circumstances, but I think the advice we would give to people is to check the weather and avalanche forecasts before setting off, and to assess the risks. The thoughts of the MCoS are with all of those involved and the rescue services up there doing the job they do."

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