Four avalanche-surfing climbers had a ‘lucky escape’ on Ben Nevis
In the first incident on Ben Nevis, three men miraculously survived by "surfing" 300ft on top of the potentially killer snow slide.
The incident happened at around 12.15pm on Saturday in Coire na Ciste, nearly 4,000ft up on the north face of Britain's highest mountain.
It happened almost a year after Tim Newton and Rachel Slater were killed by an avalanche on a St Valentine's Day climb on the 4,411ft mountain.
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Donald Paterson, deputy team leader of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team – which sent 17 members – said the three men, in their 40s, were "incredibly lucky".
They were roped together and one of them triggered an avalanche
Donald Paterson – Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team
He said: "They were roped together and one of them triggered an avalanche..
"They were swept 300ft down the mountain and over a crag that was 50 to 70ft high.
"They, thankfully, managed to stay on top of the avalanche.
The men were rescued by the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team
"They did not get buried, otherwise it could have been a different story."
Mr Paterson added: "They suffered some broken bones and soft tissue injuries but managed to walk, with the help of two others, to the Charles Inglis Clark Memorial Hut on the Ben, where we met them.
"They were obviously shaken but they were very lucky.
"This is the mildest winter we can remember, but over the weekend we had a lot of snow, which quickly collects in the gullies."
Two helicopters were scrambled from Inverness and third was sent from Prestwick to help search for the avalanche victims.
The casualties were taken to Belford Hospital in Fort William with what are thought to be non-life-threatening injuries.
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A climber was also airlifted to hospital after being injured in an avalanche in the Cairngorms.
The man hurt his leg while climbing in Garbh Choire, Braeriach, on Saturday afternoon.
He was taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for treatment. His condition is unknown.
Braemar Mountain Rescue team warned that "full-on winter conditions" had returned to Scotland's mountains.
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