Family visit scene of fatal avalanche on Ben Nevis

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image copyrightLochaber MRT
image captionRelatives of one of the casualties close to the scene of last week's accident

A sister and brother of one of the four casualties of a fatal avalanche were taken by rescuers to see the scene of the accident on Ben Nevis.

Two Frenchmen aged 41 and 32, and a 43-year-old climber from Switzerland died following the slide in Number 5 Gully on Tuesday last week.

Mathieu Biselx, 30, from Switzerland, was the sole survivor.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team took the relatives and a member of the Swiss Alpine Club to near the gully.

Mr Biselx is the president of the Sion section of the Swiss Alpine Club. His companions were also club members.

The family members' visit was made to help all the families involved better understand the terrain and scale of the rescue effort involved in the accident.

A member of the Scottish Avalanche Information Service also accompanied the family on their walk to near Number 5 Gully on the mountain near Fort William.

image copyrightMathieu Biselx
image captionThe men caught by the avalanche were all members of the Swiss Alpine Club

Lochaber MRT has recovered most of the climbers' gear and personal items.

Climbers visiting the gully have been asked to look for the men's ice tools in the area of Number 5 Gully and Moonlight Gully Buttress.

The rescue team said: "This equipment is symbolically very important for the families and if you do happen to be in area please have a look and it would be very much appreciated if they could be found and returned."

image copyrightLochaber MRT
image captionMost of the climbers' gear has been recovered, but some ice tools have still to be found

The effort to save the men after they were avalanched involved Lochaber and Glencoe mountain rescue teams, Coastguard helicopter crews, police and ambulance service.

Military personnel and climbers in the area at the time also assisted.

Lochaber MRT said: "On behalf of the families and friends we have been asked to pass on their gratitude for all the assistance and kindness they have received from all the people who have been involved in the incident."

image copyrightMathieu Biselx
image captionMathieu Biselx, second from right, with his friends who he has paid tribute to

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