This last Saturday (the 16th) the bodies of two climbers were found at the base of a popular route, Stob Coire nam Beith, still roped together in Glen Coe, Scotland. This is a tragic accident and our thoughts go out to the families of the climbers; Simon Davidson, 34 of Edinburgh and Joe Smith, 23 of Lancashire. Both were experienced climbers and had the proper equipment.
Their bodies were found at approximately 4:25 PM by another group of two climbers at the base of Stob Coire nam Beith. Consequently the police were alerted who then contacted Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team. Sixteen team members ascended the 2,300 vertical feet and found the bodies by 7 PM. There is an ongoing investigation about how the climbers actually came about their death.
Andy Nelson, the leader of the search team said the climbers could have fallen, “several hundred feet” and yet they were still “lying on the surface” and were “properly equipped”. It appears that the most likely cause of their death was an avalanche- as conditions were considerable during the time of their ascent. Especially given the factor that this weekend there was a considerable amount of wind and new snow in the area. The route they were found on was not necessarily one of the area’s most famous routes, but definitely a notable climb.
This goes to show that even with good decision making and equipment, it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to return home safe that night. With that in mind, make conservative decisions and stay safe out there!