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Glencoe walkers deaths latest: Bodies found near Highlands mountain ridge after three go missing at Aonach Eagach

Three hikers found dead in Glencoe

Three hikers have been found dead in Glencoe, after failing to return from the “narrowest” mountain ridge on mainland Britain.

The hillwalkers were reported missing shortly after 9pm on Saturday, with a Coastguard helicopter assisting Police Scotland, the RAF and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team in searching the Aonach Eagach ridge.

Their bodies were discovered shortly after the rescue mission began in the Scottish Highlands, and police said their deaths do not appear to be suspicious.

The ridge is “probably the trickiest scrambling on any” route listed on WalkHighlands, the website says, describing it as “hard, exposed” terrain linking the Munros of Meall Dearg and Sgòrr nam Fiannaidh, which have summits reaching 952m and 967m above sea level respectively.

Police said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday 5 August.

“A search was carried out and the bodies of three people were found. HM Coastguard as well as Glencoe and RAF mountain rescue teams assisted with the recovery operation.”

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Kate Forbes describes hillwalkers’ deaths as ‘horrendous news’

Kate Forbes, the Scottish National party MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, described the deaths as “horrendous news”. She said: “My thoughts are with the families. My sincere appreciation to mountain rescue, as always, and the emergency services.”

The hikers’ identities have not been revealed by the police.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glen Coe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday 5 August.

Maroosha Muzaffar8 August 2023 06:45

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Aonach Eagach ridge is known as the ‘narrowest ridge on the British Mainland’

The Aonach Eagach ridge spans nearly six miles from east to west and features two Munro summits, Sgùrr nam Fiannaidh at 3,175 feet and Meall Dearg at 3,124 feet, both exceeding 3,000 feet in height.

Scottish Daily Express reported that the terrain in this area is predominantly rocky, necessitating scrambling skills for traversing the route.

The slopes flanking the ridge on either side are treacherous, characterised by steep grass-and-scree inclines that obscure even steeper gradients.

These slopes culminate in cliffs along the northern and southern edges of the ridge, posing significant hazards.

According to the Walkhighlands website, the Aonach Eagach ridge is renowned as the “narrowest ridge on the British Mainland”.

WiredForAdventure magazine characterizes it by stating, “Certain sections of this trail might lead hikers to consider employing a rope for added safety. However, it’s the dramatic precipices and nerve-tingling exposure that contribute to its distinction as one of the most spine-chilling hikes globally.”

Tragically, the Aonach Eagach ridge has claimed the lives of seven individuals since 2014.

In September of the previous year, a 36-year-old male climber lost his life due to a fall exceeding 650 feet on the mountain.

Maroosha Muzaffar8 August 2023 06:15

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Police enlisted help of coastguard due to inaccessible conditions

HM Coastguard said they were alerted to the incident at 10.50pm and a Coastguard helicopter proceeded to assist the police in searching the Aonach Eagach ridge.

A police spokesperson said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday 5 August.”

Police Scotland called out the coastguard due to the inaccessibility of the area and the Inverness search and rescue helicopter was despatched and carried out a search in difficult weather conditions, with low visibility caused by mist and fog.

The bodies were located and the Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick returned in daylight to assist mountain rescuers with recovering the bodies.

Andy Gregory8 August 2023 05:45

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ICYMI: ‘There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances’

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday, 5 August.

“A search was carried out and the bodies of three people were found.”

He added: “HM Coastguard as well as Glencoe and RAF mountain rescue teams assisted with the recovery operation. There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”

Maroosha Muzaffar8 August 2023 05:15

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Mountain ridge ‘is one of most exposed and narrow in UK’

A mental health and outdoors campaigner has described Aonach Eagach as “one of the most exposed and narrow mountain routes in the UK”, as he reacted to the “desperately sad” news.

“Thoughts with their friends and families, and with the mountain rescue team which found them,” Ross Cunningham, editor of the Mountains Mend Minds documentary project, wrote on social media.

Andy Gregory8 August 2023 04:45

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Full report: Three hikers found dead on mountain ridge in Scotland

Three hikers have been found dead on a mountain ridge in Scotland after they failed to return from their walk.

Emergency services were called to the Aonach Eagach Ridge in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday after the group were reported missing shortly after 9pm.

Police Scotland, HM Coastguard, the RAF and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team took part in the recovery operation. However, their bodies were tragically discovered shortly after the rescue mission began.

My colleague Maryam Zakir-Hussain has the full report here:

Maroosha Muzaffar8 August 2023 04:15

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Police statement in full

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glen Coe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday August 5.

“A search was carried out and the bodies of three people were found. HM Coastguard as well as Glencoe and RAF mountain rescue teams assisted with the recovery operation.

“There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

Andy Gregory8 August 2023 03:46

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We’re pausing live updates on the blog for this evening, thanks for following here.

My colleagues will be back in the morning to bring you any further developments.

You can keep scrolling to read back through our coverage below:

Andy Gregory7 August 2023 21:59

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Full report: Three hikers found dead on mountain ridge in Scotland

Three hikers have been found dead on a mountain ridge in Scotland after they failed to return from their walk.

Emergency services were called to the Aonach Eagach Ridge in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday after the group were reported missing shortly after 9pm.

Police Scotland, HM Coastguard, the RAF and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team took part in the recovery operation. However, their bodies were tragically discovered shortly after the rescue mission began.

My colleague Maryam Zakir-Hussain has the full report here:

Andy Gregory7 August 2023 21:43

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Police enlisted help of coastguard due to inaccessible conditions

The Coastguard are said to have been called out some time after police were alerted on Saturday.

HM Coastguard said they were alerted to the incident at 10.50pm and a Coastguard helicopter proceeded to assist the police in searching the Aonach Eagach ridge.

A police spokesperson said: “We were made aware of concern for a group of three hillwalkers who had not returned from the Aonach Eagach ridge in Glencoe shortly after 9.05pm on Saturday 5 August.”

Police Scotland called out the coastguard due to the inaccessibility of the area and the Inverness search and rescue helicopter was despatched and carried out a search in difficult weather conditions, with low visibility caused by mist and fog.

The bodies were located and the Coastguard’s search and rescue helicopter from Prestwick returned in daylight to assist mountain rescuers with recovering the bodies.

Andy Gregory7 August 2023 20:16

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