Avalanches Blamed for Deaths of 3 Climbers in Scottish Highlands

GLASGOW, Scotland, Dec. 31 (UPI) — Three mountain climbers died in two separate avalanches in the Scottish Highlands, rescue officials said.

Two of the victims were climbing in Coire na Ciste on Ben Nevis Wednesday when they were swept away by a snow slide, The Guardian reported Thursday. The third victim died after being engulfed by an avalanche in Torridon near Liathach Ridge.

Two other climbers were rescued by helicopter, the Glasgow Herald reported.

The SportScotland Avalanche Information Service warned climbers of a very high risk of avalanche Wednesday, the Herald reported.

The deaths of the three climbers brought the total number of weather-related fatalities across Britain to six.

Bitter cold and snowy weather has settled over Britain for more than a week, leading to numerous crashes, power interruptions and disruptions in public transportation.

Forecasters predicted heavy snow Thursday for large portions of northern and central Scotland and north Wales, and snow showers in northern England.

Despite warnings of snow and continued frigid temperatures, New Year celebrations in Scotland were gearing up, with up to 80,000 people expected at the annual Edinburgh street party, and 10,000 revelers were expected in Glasgow’s George Square, the Guardian said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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