Climber Who Died In Highlands Avalanche Named

Police have named a climber who died after being caught in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.

Adrian Bankart, from Derbyshire, was climbing with a companion on Creag Meagaidh, a mountain range in Lochaber, when an avalanche occurred on Wednesday afternoon.

The 54-year-old was airlifted from the mountain but later died in hospital.

Mr Bankart was rescued with a second climber who remains in a serious but stable condition in Belford Hospital in Fort William.

A Police Scotland statement said: "The family of Mr Bankart would seek this opportunity to extend their gratitude to all emergency services and mountain rescue personnel who were involved in the incident.''

Efforts to trace two climbers missing on Ben Nevis, meanwhile, remain suspended as high winds and driving snow prevent both ground and air searches.

Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, both from Bradford, West Yorkshire, failed to return from an outing on Britain's highest peak last weekend and treacherous conditions have hindered the rescue operation.

Members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue hope to get onto the mountain on Saturday.

Team leader John Stevenson said: "It is very frustrating and we're trying to get something for the families mainly, and we've got nothing to go on.

"We don't know where to look yet, so we're just going to have to start basically at the beginning and just work our way around the hill.''

Ms Slater's family have flown from their home in Canada to be kept up to date with the search.

In a joint statement with Mr Newton's family released on Thursday, they thanked search and rescue teams for their work.

They said: ''The overwhelming response from members of the public and the climbing community has greatly assisted the search effort and we appreciate all the support and words of encouragement.

''As the search continues we remain hopeful Rachel and Tim will be found and reunited with their families and friends."

The avalanche risk in Lochaber remains high, according to the Scottish Avalanche Information Service, with new snow lying on top of frozen snow making the surface unstable.

Police Scotland said: "Conditions remain under constant review.

"Police and partners reiterate the appeal to anyone with any information that may assist the search effort to make contact.

"Climbers and walkers travelling to the area this weekend are asked to bear the search activity in mind and report anything they feel may assist via 101.

"An assessment of conditions will be made first thing on Saturday where consideration will be given to deploying Mountain Rescue personnel and all available resources.''

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