The bodies of Rachel Slater and Tim Newton have been recovered on Ben Nevis, where the young climbers went missing mid February.
A statement released by police this morning says:
"Late afternoon yesterday (Wednesday 23rd March) Police were alerted by a member of the public to the body of a woman at the base of Observatory Gully, around 500 metres from Charles Inglis Clark (CIC) hut."
"Around twenty Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team personnel attended the area, where at approximately 6.15pm, the body of a man was found close by."
It is thought they were caught up in an avalanche.
As of this afternoon Police Scotland have confirmed their identities.
The families of Rachel and Tim have issued the following statement:
“We would like to thank the mountain rescue teams, climbing community, police in Fort William and all concerned for finding Rachel and Tim, bringing the news we have been waiting for and for their sustained efforts over the last six weeks."
“These brave and generous men and women have worked incredibly hard to find Rachel and Tim in difficult and dangerous conditions. The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, police, climbers, friends, family and wider community near and far have been overwhelmingly supportive, generous and kind throughout this difficult time."
"We have received thoughts, prayers, and messages of kindness from all over the world."
“Although much anticipated, it still comes as a shock but we are thankful that we can now move forward with our lives in the knowledge that Rachel and Tim were doing what they loved to do. Climbing was their passion, they loved the mountains, wilderness and outdoor spaces."
“Rachel was also known as Yvonne at Junior High and High School in Calgary, when she lived with her family in Alberta, Canada.”
On behalf of Police Scotland Highland and Islands Division, Lochaber Area Inspector Donald Campbell said:
"Police Scotland is extremely grateful to everyone who assisted with the search to find Rachel and Tim. The response and support shown from members of the public and the media has been overwhelming, from the local community here in Lochaber to Canada and beyond. Members of the climbing community are thanked for providing a wealth of valuable information, which assisted with search planning.
“The determination and expertise displayed by Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team in particular, in addition to other partner agencies involved in the search, has been outstanding.
"We hope that this identification provides some form of closure for the families of Rachel and Tim, who have bravely endured the agony of not knowing. They have our deepest sympathies at this very difficult time; this of course extends to local communities in Bradford, Leicester and Canada, who will feel the loss of two inspiring young people.”
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