A YOUNG County Durham woman who was seriously hurt in an avalanche which killed four of her friends remains in a critical condition in hospital.
The 24-year-old is being cared for at Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital, where she was flown after initially being treated at Belford hospital in Fort William.
She suffered severe head injuries in the avalanche, which struck at about 2pm on Saturday as the woman and five friends made their descent on Bidean Nam Bian in Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands. Police said on Monday there was no change to her condition.
PhD students Christopher Bell, 24, and Tom Chesters, 28, and 25-year-old junior doctor Una Finnegan were swept 1,000ft to their deaths as they made their way down the mountain.
Another woman was also killed. Police have so far withheld her name to allow her family members to inform other relatives.
One man survived by leaping from the collapsing sheet of snow and hammering an ice axe into firmer ground.
Friends have said the group were experienced climbers who loved the mountains and were well-equipped for the trek.
Mr Bell was studying for a PhD in ocean mapping in Oban. Northern Constabulary initially said he was from Blackpool, Lancashire, but said today he was from Blackburn.
Mr Chesters had been living in Leeds and working towards his PhD qualification at Hull University while Ms Finnegan, originally from Coleraine in Co Londonderry, was a qualified doctor who lived in Edinburgh.
Andy Nelson, deputy head of Glencoe mountain rescue team, said the avalanche would have unfolded in "a split second".