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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2006, 16:05 GMT
Police name Cairngorms climbers
RAF helicopter arrives at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with the second climber
The RAF helicopter arrives in Inverness with the second climber
Police have named two young climbers who died after spending a night in the Cairngorms in extreme weather.

They were Aberdeen University student Richard Hardy, 18, from Alton in Hampshire, and graduate Graeme Cooper, 23, from Aberdeen.

The pair had been taken to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness after being found by rescue teams on Monday about a mile from the Cairngorm ski area car park.

They were reported missing on Sunday after climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda.

Northern Constabulary said the families of both men were trying to cope with their grief.

Our thoughts and condolences are with both families
Aberdeen University spokesman

Messages of condolence have been posted on the website of Lairig, Aberdeen University's Mountaineering Club.

A spokesman for Aberdeen University said Mr Hardy was a first year student studying for an MA in geography, and Mr Cooper had graduated in July with an MA in the same subject.

The spokesman said: "The university chaplain will be in touch with both families to offer help and support.

"Representatives from the university's student support services are also on hand to offer support to members of the mountaineering club and any other students who are affected.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with both families."

'Tragic loss'

James Fairwood, vice president of sport at Aberdeen University Students' Association, echoed: "We are deeply shocked and saddened at the tragic loss of one our students and a graduate.

"I would like to encourage any student who has been affected by this sad event to contact Student Support Services.

"Our thoughts are with the families of both men."

The climbers were found about a mile from the Cairngorm Ski area car park, rescuers said.

Eight friends

At one point 36 rescuers were out looking for the pair, said John Allen, Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team leader.

The RAF crews who flew the two men off the mountain said they were found lying on the hillside without any shelter.

Wind speeds would have resulted in temperatures as low as minus 20C overnight, they said.

The two men had hitched a lift with eight friends from the university's mountaineering club - who were taking part in a safety course at Glenmore Lodge - to go climbing in Coire an t-Sneachda.

Police said the group had agreed to meet up at the lodge later on Sunday.

When the pair failed to turn up by 1930 GMT the party became worried and raised the alarm.


SEE ALSO
Climbers die after rescue effort
20 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles
Helicopter is flown from mountain
08 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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