A Scottish corrie has claimed the life a fifth mountaineer in two months.

The grim winter on Cairn Gorm continued with the death yesterday of a climber in the Coire an-t Sneachda – the same site as the previous four fatalities.

The exceptionally mild winter has meant many winter climbing routes are not in good condition. Tim Walker, principal of the nearby Glenmore Lodge national mountain centre, said: “It has been the worst anyone can remember.

“Climbers are coming across new types of snow and ice and are climbing on rock as well.”
John Allen, leader of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) said: “This is very unusual. It has to be the worst. It is a pretty appalling statistic.

“It was a nice day, but conditions were very thin, which makes it slightly more dangerous.”

The latest death happened when a man solo climbing on Aladdin’s Mirror fell about 200m. Other climbers in the area when the incident occurred on Friday morning went help and raised the alarm. The Cairngorm MRT went to the man’s aid and a search and a rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth was called and airlifted him to Raigmore Hospital, but the mountaineer was pronounced dead on arrival.

Hugh Pitcairn, a 20-year-old mechanical engineering student at Bristol University died nine days ago in a fall on Crotched Gully. 26-year-old climber Neil Batchelor died in December after a fall in Aladdin’s Couloir and fellow Aberdeen University Lairig Climbing Club members Richard Hardy and Graeme Cooper died after being caught overnight in severe weather after tackling a route in Coire an-t Sneachda in November.

grough's condolences go to the family and friends of the, as yet unnamed, unfortunate climber.

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