A WOMAN was killed and another injured in a 700ft fall in Glencoe last night.

The climbers, who have not been named, were found in the Lost Valley by another climber at about 6pm and a mountain rescue team and RAF and Royal Navy rescue helicopters were called to the scene.

One woman was given emergency treatment at the scene before both were taken to Belford Hospital, Fort William, where one of the climbers was declared dead.

Her companion has so far been unable to speak to police, a spokesman for Northern Constabulary said.

He said the women would not be named until their next of kin had been informed and added it was still unclear exactly what had happened.

Mr John Greive, leader of the Glencoe mountain rescue team, said the women had been climbing with a man, although they were not roped together.

''They were descending an area where there is still some snow and had been trying to skirt the snowfield when one woman slipped, fell on to rocks and then into the snow,'' he said.

''The other woman tried to catch her but she also fell on to the snow and they both slid down a distance of about 300ft.

''The first one hit rocks and suffered severe head injuries. The second woman hit her, which seems to have cushioned her from the rocks.''

The man raised the alarm on his mobile phone and a Royal Navy rescue helicopter and RAF rescue helicopter were called in to search for the casualties, Mr Greive said.

''We were picked up by the helicopters and dropped near the scene, where we located them,'' he said. ''One woman had very serious injuries, which were ultimately fatal. The other woman was not so severely injured but had been unconscious.''

It is believed the women were in their mid to late 20s, but it is not yet known where they are from.