MOUNTAIN rescuers looking for two climbers missing for a week on Ben Nevis have said they will aim to have search parties out on the peak “most days” this week as the weather picture improves slightly.
Rachel Slater, 24, and 27-year-old Tim Newton, from Bradford, failed to return from an outing on Britain’s highest mountain last weekend.
A 26-strong search team braved severe sub-zero temperatures, high winds, falling snow and limited visibility on Saturday in a renewed bid to trace the couple.
But they ruled out any searching on Sunday due to “increasingly hazardous weather” and a risk of avalanches.
However, Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team (LMRT) said the weather is looking slightly better for the days ahead.
In a message posted on Sunday evening on their Facebook page, they said: “The weather next week is looking a little bit better than last.
“The winds look like they will be moderating a bit as temperatures drop. Snow is forecast every day with periods of heavy snow adding to the existing snow pack.
“The team will try and get parties on the hill most days.”
And they called for other climbers to share information with them to help the search.
“We would ask anyone who plans to climb on the Ben this week to post on our Facebook page the areas they were climbing and the routes done. This will help us eliminate parts of the mountain,” the team said.
In their most recent statement, issued on Saturday night, Police Scotland said: “Reviews continue to be ongoing and it is hoped that there will be an improvement to the conditions on Monday or Tuesday.
“Both Rachel and Tim’s family continue to be appraised of these circumstances.”
Police have asked anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they think it is, to contact them on 101.
Mr Newton was a member of Hinckley Mountaineering Club in Leicestershire before moving away to university.
Ms Slater is a graduate of Manchester University and is employed as an environmental consultant near Bradford. She spent some time living and climbing in Canada, where her parents are still based.
Their families have praised the overwhelming response from members of the public and the climbing community.
Meanwhile, two hillwalkers were found “cold and desolate” on the same peak over the weekend.
LMRT sent a small team to look for the hillwalkers, who reported that they were lost on Ben Nevis on Saturday night and then made no further contact.
The pair were eventually found in the summit shelter and were walked to safety.