'He died with the woman he loved': Hull student Tom Chesters was killed in avalanche with partner Rachel Majumdar
A UNIVERSITY of Hull student killed in an avalanche in the Scottish Highlands died by the side of the woman he loved.
Student Tom Chesters, 28, was among four climbers swept 1,000ft to their deaths on Saturday afternoon near Glencoe.
Friends said University of Hull PhD student Mr Chesters had been dating hospital doctor Rachel Majumdar, 29, who also died, for several years.
Sam Morris, 35, said they had been a couple since they met at university in Leeds.
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He said the only consolation in the tragedy was that the couple died side-by-side, doing something they both loved.
"They were in love since they met in their first year of university," he said.
"They were just so soft and sweet with each other – two people so at ease together.
"They had dreams of doing voluntary work oversees together.
"Some of the comfort we have drawn is that these guys had been together to the end. At least they were doing what they liked doing."
Saturday's accident claimed the lives of Dr Majumdar and Mr Chesters, PhD student Christopher Bell, 24, and 25-year-old junior doctor Una Finnegan.
Mr Morris, who worked with Mr Chesters and Mr Bell when they were mountain bike tour guides in the Alps, said he was horrified to hear of the men's deaths.
"It was so few years lived, but I know there's not much either one of them would have done differently," he said. "They seized every opportunity.
"They'd do things that people who spend their whole lives sitting behind a desk wish they could have done.
"When they died they were with the people they loved, doing what they loved."
He said both men were "very knowledgeable about the mountains" but were, tragically, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"They were as trained up and as cautious as you can be," he said. "With the best will in the world, these things are a game of odds.
"All four of them were people with a bright future and all of them were committed to making a difference. It's such a loss."
The tragedy struck at about 2pm on Saturday, when the group of friends made their descent on Bidean Nam Bian in Glencoe.
One unnamed man survived by leaping from the collapsing sheet of snow and hammering an ice axe into firmer ground.
Mr Chesters, said to have been one of Britain's leading competitive orienteerers, was working towards a PhD qualification in medical engineering at the University of Hull.
The university said Mr Chesters had a promising career ahead of him.
Michael Fagan, professor of medical and biological engineering, and Catherine Dobson, Mr Chesters' PhD supervisor, said in a statement: "Tom was a fantastic colleague and friend with so much energy and enthusiasm for everything he did.
"He was a real asset to our research group and was making great progress with his PhD research into osteoporosis.
"He had a very promising career ahead of him.
"We will all miss him enormously."