Two other climbers saw them fall in the mountain's Minus One Gully, into the base of the nearby Observatory Gully, and went to the scene. One stayed with the men while his companion raised the alarm from a rescue shelter equipped with a police phone link. The bodies were later airlifted to Fort William.
The tragedy was the most serious of a succession of incidents involving six other injuries on the Scottish hills yesterday.
Two climbers fell on Creag Meagaidh. One was airlifted to hospital in Fort William, but his companion was able to reach safety and was taken to hospital by road. Two more climbers were injured in separate incidents at Glen Nevis.
Rescue teams were last night searching for a climber with a broken leg on Lochnagar, near Balmoral. Another climber was taken to hospital in Glasgow with a back injury after a fall in the Rest and Be Thankful mountain pass in Argyll.
In the Lake District, Keswick Mountain Rescue team was involved last night in an operation to rescue an injured man on Great End in the Scafell Range.
Meanwhile fears for a canoeist grew last night after a search found no trace of him in the River Conwy at Betws-y- coed in North Wales. His canoe was recovered.
Hamish MacInnes, 63, is to give up leadership of the Glencoe mountain rescue team, which he founded. He is protesting at plans to allow a BBC Television crew to film the team in action because it would involve filming accident victims.Reuse content