Avalanche victim is former CRGS pupil

EXPERIENCED WALKER: Christopher Bell. (s)
EXPERIENCED WALKER: Christopher Bell. (s)
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Balderstone man Christopher Bell is one of the four people who lost their lives in Saturday’s Glencoe avalanche.

Christopher (24), a former CRGS pupil was studying for a PHD in Ocean Mapping in the Scottish town of Oban and was an experienced hill walker.

The accident happened on the 3,000 ft Munro mountain Bidean Nam Bian. The six-strong group started their descent down a steep incline on the south side of the valley at around 2 p.m., when a sheet of snow gave way beneath them and carried them 1,000 ft to the bottom of the mountain at speeds estimated to be up to 50 mph. Four of the group were killed, while a male and female survived. The male survivor, who asked to remain anonymous, is understood to have leapt for his life, using his ice axe to grip into firmer snow.

He commented: “Yesterday, five of my friends and I were descending a mountain in Glencoe in an area known as Church Door Buttress when the party was swept away by a snow avalanche. It is with much sadness and deep regret that some of my friends have died as a result. All in the group loved the mountains and are experienced winter walkers. My sincere thanks go to members of the public, mountain rescue teams and other emergency services who assisted.”