BODIES believed to be those of a couple who disappeared while climbing Ben Nevis almost six weeks ago have been found.

Police Scotland confirmed that the remains of a man and woman were recovered from the mountain tonight after the alarm was raised by a member of the public.

It comes two days after an ice axe belonging to missing climbers Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, was discovered on the slopes.

Formal identification of the bodies is yet to take place but the families of both climbers have been informed.

The pair, from Bradford in West Yorkshire, are believed to have run into trouble while climbing Britain's highest mountain on Valentine's Day. They were reported missing on February 15 after they failed to return from the outing.

Searches by rescue teams have been carried out ever since, with some efforts hampered by hazardous weather and avalanche risks.

Climbers and walkers in the area had also been advised to share information with them to help the search.

Lochaber mountain rescue team said on Monday that a technical ice axe had been found below the Shroud/Boomers Requiem area of the mountain.