A man who helped establish 1,000 winter climbing routes has died in an accident on Ben Hope.
Aberdeen-born Andy Nisbet, 65, was climbing the mountain with his partner Steve Perry, 47, from Lancaster, when they ran into trouble.
Their bodies were recovered from the mountain in Sutherland after being discovered shortly after 2am on Wednesday.
It is believed the two men had finished their ascent and fell while on the upper slopes of Ben Hope, Scotland’s most northerly Munro, which rises to a height of 927m (3,041ft).
Sad loss in the Mountains see today’s blog pic.twitter.com/y5y3QcdlIL
— HeavyWhalleyMBE.BEM (@HeavyWhalley)
Mr Nisbet and Mr Perry were both renowned in the climbing community and many have paid tribute to the pair.
Remembered as a “pioneer” with “boundless enthusiasm,” Mr Nisbet’s appearance earned him nicknames such as “Honey Monster” and “The Droid”.
Mountaineer and broadcaster Cameron McNeish said he was "utterly devastated" at the news of the men's deaths.
Utterly devastated this morning at the news of the loss of Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry on Ben Hope. Both were gargantuan and inspiring figures in Scotland's mountaineering scene. A massive loss to us all.
— Cameron McNeish (@CameronMcNeish)
He told BBC Radio Scotland: "They were both gargantuan characters."
Mr McNeish said climbers knew there would be risks tackling Scotland's mountains in winter and the pair would have "managed the risks as well as they could".
David Whalley, a former RAF mountain rescue team leader said Scottish Mountaineering had “lost two of the best.”
Such dreadful news about Andy Nisbet and Steve Perry on Ben Hope. Condolences to friends and family, and thanks to all the MRT members who assisted in what must have been a heartbreaking job.
— MountaineeringScot (@Mountain_Scot)
“Andy was always climbing especially in winter with his many friends many who are some of the best winter climbers in the UK, that was who and what he lived for,” he wrote on his blog Heavy Whalley.
“He was the most active prolific Mountaineer that Scotland has ever produced.
Ben Hope looking beautiful today - the day after an awful tragedy. Scottish Mountaineering loosing two of the best. RIP Andy Nisbet & Steve Perry who had jointly pioneered so many of the routes here. Thoughts with family & friends. pic.twitter.com/flchLEB80J
— Bob Reid #FBPE (@bobgreid)
“Never in the history of Scottish Mountaineering has anyone been so prolific or enthusiastic and introduced so many to the mountains especially in winter.”
Writing in a UK Climbing blog, climber Natalie Berry, who was winner of 2016's Scottish Youth Ambassador for Mountain Culture award, said the men had a "strong" climbing partnership.
“They were driving forces in the late development of Ben Hope, a mountain largely neglected until recent seasons,” she wrote.
The tragedy is the latest in a number of mountain casualities this winter.
Four other hillwalkers and climbers have died in accidents since December.