Sheffield scientist dies in ski fall

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A Sheffield scientist has died after falling nearly 1,000 feet in a skiing accident in the Swiss Alps.

Catriona Neath from Penrhyn Road, Hunters Bar, was with her fiance Peter Davies on a ski touring holiday.

She plunged down a snowy slope while on a 12,000 foot peak in the Bernina range near the border with Italy.

During the fall the 32-year-old hit her head and lost consciousness.

She never came round and died from her injuries the next day in a hospital in the nearby town of Chur.

Catriona, who was born in Switzerland but grew up in Edinburgh, graduated from Sheffield University with an honours degree in physical geography.

She later took a second degree in Leeds.

She based herself in Sheffield, working as an environmental scientist for over a decade with multinational design and consulting firm Arup.

Catriona and Peter, aged 34, were avid skiers and outdoor enthusiasts.

They were returning to the mountain hut where they had been staying during their tour of the Italian-Swiss Alps when the fall happened.

The pair had been on previous trips to Switzerland, Norway, Scotland and Serre Chevalier in the French Alps.

Catriona’s Facebook page is devoted to photos of the couple’s skiing holidays.

Ski touring involves travelling long distances across mountainous terrain, both skiing downhill and climbing.

A source close to them said: “This is so tragic. Catriona and Peter loved their ski touring trips and were both confident skiers.”

Her sister Susannah, who lives in Switzerland, and her father John, 67, travelled to the remote region following the accident to be at Catriona’s bedside.

Mr Neath said: “This has been a very difficult time for us.

“I’m still in a bit of a daze and I don’t think it will sink in until after the funeral.

“I travelled to Switzerland to be with her as soon as I got the call about what happened.”

Ms Neath had also carried out humanitarian work in Africa, helping to provide clean water in the Ashanti region of Ghana.

In a statement aid charity Ashanti Development said: “Cat died surrounded by her friends, one of whom was a doctor, and her partner was with her.

“Cat was one of the first of our volunteers. She was a geochemist and came to help sort out the water problems in Ashanti. We are all so very sorry to hear this news.”

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in Switzerland. We are providing consular assistance at this difficult time.”

Ms Neath’s funeral will be held in Edinburgh on Saturday.