Ben Nevis, scene of today's avalanche. Photo: Graham Lewis CC-BY-2.0

Ben Nevis, scene of today's avalanche. Photo: Graham Lewis [CC-2.0]

Two climbers were airlifted to hospital after being caught in an avalanche on Britain’s highest mountain.

The two French men were with a compatriot on Garadh Gully on Ben Nevis when they were avalanched at about 9.35am today.

The third climber escaped uninjured but a 39-year-old man was swept 200m (656ft) and the second, aged 61, fell 300m (984ft) down the north face of the mountain and both suffered serious leg injuries.

A Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth flew the two men to Belford Hospital, Fort William, where their condition is said to be stable. Police said their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

The third climber, who was not caught up in the avalanche, was able to make his own way off the mountain.

Police appealed to anyone heading for the mountains to check out the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service and the Mountain Weather Information Service before setting out.

The avalanche risk for all aspects above 800m in the Lochaber area for tomorrow is forecast to be considerable, and all areas of the Highlands covered by the SAIS forecasts have some slope aspects with considerable risk.

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