by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC Three men have been tragically killed in an avalanche on Buachaille Etive Mòr, Glencoe, Scotland. The accident happened yesterday (Saturday 24th Jan) at around 12.15 in the afternoon. The avalanche struck in Coire na Tulaich, the largecoire to the west of the main summit of Stob Dearg. The coire is clearly visible from the A82 road through Glencoe and is considered the easiest way up to the summit of the Buachaille in summer. You can view an Ordnance Survey map of the mountain here: OS Get-A-Map The three casualties have been named asEamonn Murphy, 61,John Murphy, 63 and Brian Murray. In an interview with the Scotland on Sunday newspaper, John Grieve, the leader of the rescue team, described how the accident occurred: “The snow up there is under tremendous tension,” said Grieve. “All ittakes is something to break that tension and it causes an avalanche,something as simple as walking across it…” “A guy was walking up the hill and the snow below him broke off underhis feet. He had his ice axe with him and was able to put his ice axeinto the snow and hold on, so he did not go down with the avalanche.He´s obviously feeling bloody shocked about this.””It was theguy at the top who came down and told us what had happened. He´sfeeling pretty grim. It´s not his fault in any way, but he´s a bitupset about it.” Posting on Pistehors.com, David Gunn MBE (UKC Profile), a paramedic from the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team who was present at the rescue, said: “…They were swept 500 feet from a cornice scarp on the normalascent route of the mountain Buachaille Etive. All 3 were in cardiacarrest. 2 were dug out by companions and one was located by spotprobe. Glencoe Mountain Rescue attended assisted by a Sea Kinghelicopter from RNAS Gannet. The 3 victims were transferred to BelfordHospital Fort William where resuscitation attempts proved unsuccessful. This voie normal has seen many fatal avalanches over the years…” More snow and high wind is forecast for the coming week meaning avalanche risk could increase. Today´s outlook (Glencoe area) from the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service is a Category 4 risk: “There will be snow showers accompanied by Southerly winds these willback becoming Easterly winds and very strong. Accumulations of unstablesoft slab will continue to develop in all sheltered locations. Thegreatest deposits will be on slopes and in gullies with a West throughNorth to East aspect above 800 metres. The snowpack especially onsteeper slopes will be unstable containing several layers of weaklybonded slab where avalanches will occur. The avalanche hazard will beHigh (Category 4).” You can check the avalanche reports on the sportscotland Avalanche Information Service (SAIS) Website. You can find information on avalanche safety on the Mountaineering Council of Scotand Website. Mountain weather forecasts are available on the Mountain Weather Information Service Website.