Bidean nam Bian, scene of the avalanche in Central Butress. Photo: Simon McElroy CC-BY-SA-2.0

Bidean nam Bian, scene of the avalanche in Central Gully. Photo: Simon McElroy CC-BY-SA-2.0

A number of climbers are feared dead after an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands.

The party of six was caught by the major avalanche in the Central Gully on Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe today.

Emergency services were alerted at about 2pm and Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team went to the scene.

A team spokesperson said: “One person managed to get down and made a phone call. A woman suffered serious injuries and is in hospital.”

The woman was taken to Belford Hospital in Fort William.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team has joined the search for the remaining four members of the group, which is continuing.

Northern Constabulary said no further information was available at present. Police search and rescue dogs are taking part in the operation to find the four avalanched climbers.

Central Gully is a grade-one or two winter climb next to Collie’s Pinnacle on the north side of the 1,150m (3,773ft) mountain, the highest in Argyll.

The avalanche report for Glencoe today showed localised areas above 900m where the risk was considerable on north and north-eastern slopes.

Observers from the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service noted areas of hard, unstable windslab on top of a softer, weak layer.

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