Mountain rescuers have been searching for two climbers who have been missing on Ben Nevis since February.
Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, from Bradford, failed to return from an outing on the mountain. Hazardous weather hampered initial efforts to find them.
Police Scotland said the families of the two climbers had been told of the development.
The couple were reported missing on 15 February after failing to return from an outing on Britain’s highest mountain.
A number of searches by rescue teams have been carried out with efforts frequently hampered by hazardous weather and avalanche risks.
From Lochaber Facebook page – Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team recovered the bodies of two people from Ben Nevis last night. While formal identification has still to take place, we expect them to be confirmed as Rachel and Tim who have been missing since 13th February
I am sure that everyone will join us in offering our thoughts and sincere condolences to the families and friends of Rachel and Tim. They were well known, experienced and respected climbers and their plight has touched so many people over the last few weeks.
We have been overwhelmed by the help and support we have received over the last few weeks as we tried to get some clues to where Rachel and Tim may have been going on the day they went missing. We would like to thank the whole climbing community for engaging and assisting, even when it was only to eliminate some of the small clues we thought we had obtained.
Thanks also to Police Scotland, and in particular the local staff who have been able to take some of the pressure off of us arising from the immense media interest the rescue has generated, and continues. We have been supported by several other MR teams and SARDA dogs, and it speaks volumes for all the people in the MR community who give up so much of their time on a voluntary basis to assist others.
Finally, but not least, well done to all the members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team. The effort which has gone into this rescue has been immense in some of the most challenging conditions you could expect to experience. To quote one of the climbers who we talked to last night at the CIC hut after the recovery, “can I shake your hand as you are all heroes”.
The bodies were found in separate, but nearby, locations in Observatory Gully and mountain rescuers said early indications suggested that there had been an avalanche in the area.
Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team told BBC Scotland rucksacks found had ropes and gear inside.
‘Struck before climb’
Team member Miller Harris said that it would appear that the climbers were struck by a large avalanche before they started their climb.
On Wednesday, a climber found Ms Slater’s body at the base of the gully, Police Scotland said.
About 20 members of Lochaber MRT went to the scene of the discovery to recover the body. Later, at about 18:15, team members found Mr Newton’s body nearby.
The families of the two climbers were told of the development.
mage copyrightLochaber Mountain Rescue Team
It was believed the couple had been camping in a green tent behind the Charles Inglis Clark (CIC) memorial hut on the north side of the mountain.
Seasoned climber Ms Slater was a graduate of Manchester University and employed as an environmental consultant near Bradford.
She spent some time living and climbing in Canada, where her parents are still based.
Mr Newton, originally from Leicester, studied physics at Manchester and Leeds universities.
He joined Hinckley Mountaineering Club in Leicestershire in 2010 before he moved away to university, with fellow climbers there calling him a natural.
Their families have previously praised the overwhelming response from members of the public and the climbing community in helping to search for them.