Scottish search continues for rock climber who lived in Calgary
Rachel Slater, who called Calgary home for 5 years, and her boyfriend missing from Ben Nevis mountain
The search for two rock climbers, one with a Calgary connection, continues on the Ben Nevis mountain in Scotland but avalanches and frigid weather have a friend saying the chances of the couple being found safely are diminishing fast.
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Rachel Slater, 24, is a U.K. citizen but lived in Calgary between 2005 and 2009. Her family still lives in Calgary.
Slater and her boyfriend Tim Newton, 27, were last seen at Ben Nevis on the weekend, a mountain about 190 kilometres northwest of Glasgow.
Authorities were called when Slater failed to show up to work Monday.
A Calgary friend and fellow rock climber, Andrea Morgan, says from what she has pieced together from the family and media reports, there are currently more questions than answers.
"So far, not really anyone knows very much," Morgan told CBC News Wednesday.
"They were last seen for sure Sunday morning at a hut near Ben Nevis, they set off that morning and someone saw a pair that kind of fits their description walking near the mountain Sunday afternoon, so that may have been them but no one is really sure what route they were on."
A search and rescue was launched but suspended Tuesday due to weather conditions.
Morgan says with avalanches and frigid weather, hope is starting to fade.
"I am trying to staying optimistic, [but] the fact that they haven't found anything yet and it was -20 with wind chill and I think they left their tent at the hut, they were just out for a day trip. I think the chances that they are still ok after spending three days out in those conditions are diminishing."
Morgan says media reports speculating over what the couple were doing, might be missing the mark.
"Knowing Rachel I think it is very, very unlikely they were hiking," she said.
"They would not have gone there to hike, they would have gone to climb. They were climbing Ben Nevis other routes there last year, so it's not like it was their first trip to the area."
The Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team, one of the groups in the search, is posting updates on progress engaging thousands, all hoping for a positive outcome.