Experts believe the Northern Corries are now more prone to rockfalls

Experts believe the Northern Corries are now more prone to rockfalls

Mountain experts are warning of the danger of falling rocks in the Cairngorms after a woman was killed in the Northern Corries.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said it has serious concerns over the state of the cliffs in the popular climbing area.

It said today: “Yesterday there was a fatality in the Aladdin’s Buttress area of the cliffs in Coire an t-Sneachda, after a climber was hit by rockfall from above. And earlier in August, considerable rockfall was noted in the area above the Goat Track, in the same corrie.

The council’s temporary mountain safety adviser Monty Monteith said: “This is particularly worrying as we move into winter over the next two months.

“Experienced climbers and mountaineers are very aware of the fragile nature of our mountains, which are in a constant state of decay. However, the heavy snows of last winter seem to have destabilised the cliffs and their surroundings even more.

“Once the first snows of this winter fall and temperatures plummet, the situation will be made even worse as successive freezes and thaws dislodge even more debris. This of course will be exactly the time when the first winter climbers take to the crags seeking adventure.

“Rockfall is sometimes considered an objective danger, but let’s take heed of all available information and plan accordingly when heading out to seek the challenge of winter – especially in the last few months of 2014, before the snow and deep cold has cemented the loose rock under its frozen cocoon.”

Emergency services were alerted to the incident yesterday when they received reports of someone injured near the Pygmy Ridge in Coire an t-Sneachda on Cairn Gorm.

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team members went to the site, and a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet in Ayrshire also flew to the scene.

It was reported today that the woman who died on the climb was with a partner she met through an online outdoors dating site.

Pygmy Ridge is a Moderate-grade climb in the corrie, near Aladdin’s Buttress.

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