Search teams hope to resume hunt for climbers missing on Ben Nevis for a week


Search teams hope calmer weather will allow them to resume the hunt for two climbers missing for a week in the Scottish Highlands.

Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, failed to return from an outing on Ben Nevis last weekend and treacherous conditions have hindered air and ground searches on Britain's highest peak.

Relatives of the pair from Bradford, West Yorkshire, remain hopeful the experienced climbers will be found.

Police said conditions will be assessed early on Saturday before a decision is made to resume efforts to trace them.

High winds and driving snow led to the search being suspended on Friday.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team said: "The search will continue tomorrow with a improvement in the weather conditions expected.

"We would like to thank the climbing community for their support during this difficult time."

Mr Newton was a member of Hinckley Mountaineering Club in Leicestershire before moving away to university.

Club president David Gair said he has a wealth of experience garnered in the Himalayas, the Alps and in Scotland and is a "very competent mountaineer".

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.

It is believed the couple had been camping behind the Charles Inglis Clark memorial hut on the north side of Ben Nevis.

In a joint statement released on Thursday their families said: ''The overwhelming response from members of the public and the climbing community has greatly assisted the search effort and we appreciate all the support and words of encouragement.

''As the search continues we remain hopeful Rachel and Tim will be found and reunited with their families and friends."

Police Scotland said: "Conditions remain under constant review.

"Police and partners reiterate the appeal to anyone with any information that may assist the search effort to make contact.

"Climbers and walkers travelling to the area this weekend are asked to bear the search activity in mind and report anything they feel may assist via 101.

"An assessment of conditions will be made first thing on Saturday where consideration will be given to deploying Mountain Rescue personnel and all available resources."