Pen Yr Ole Wen, left, and Cwm Lloer. Photo: Richard Webb

Pen Yr Ole Wen, left, and Cwm Lloer. Photo: Richard Webb

A climber had died after falling from a winter route in Snowdonia.

The man, in his 40s, was tackling a gully in Cwm Lloer between Pen Yr Ole Wen and Carnedd Dafydd when he fell about 180m (590ft).

He was winched from the site, in the Ogwen Valley, by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley and flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor but died from his injuries.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation said: “The man, from north-east Wales and a member of his local mountaineering club, was climbing the gully with three clubmates. The snow was sparse in places with many rocks protruding through the gully bed.

“The upper reaches and cornice, though, were filled and formed and were hard névé.

“It appears the man was just about to join his colleagues at the top of the gully, when he fell away from the vertical snow. The result was a 180m fall to the outfall of the gully below in Cwm Lloer.”

The incident happened in Number One Gully and a group of ten members of the Mountain Leader Training Association, who were on a regional day out at the site and about to climb the gully, rendered emergency aid to the climber.

Mr Lloyd said: “They did their best to assist the seriously injured climber.

“Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team was alerted and we immediately called for the assistance of 22 Squadron, RAF Valley. The yellow Sea King helicopter just beat team members to the casualty.”

The climber’s death came almost a year after Derren Barber, 39, of Bognor Regis, West Sussex, was fatally injured when he fell down Broad Gully in Cwm Lloer. Number One Gully is adjacent to Broad Gully.

Mr Lloyd continued: “Team members then carried out the fatal incident protocol, as devised by North Wales Police. Team members are trained in the investigation and reporting of fatal incidents on behalf of the police. The reports are submitted to the coroner for the inquest.”

As team members were carrying out their investigations, they were called to a climber who had slid 60m (200ft) down a gully on the east face of Y Garn, on the southern side of the Ogwen Valley.

The 47-year-old, from Warwickshire, described as a novice climber, was with three other well equipped climbers and all three had ascended Banana Gully in the morning, and were nearly at the top of A Gully when the man snagged a crampon, causing him to lose his balance and fall down the gully.

Chris Lloyd said: “Initial reports were for head, shoulder and leg injuries. Team members made their way up, having just come down from the North side of Ogwen valley, and started with casualty care when 22 Squadron arrived.

“With great expertise the aircraft was manoeuvred into the crags and the casualty winched aboard and flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd.

“Fortunately, his injuries are not serious – a lucky man.”

Team members were also in action on New Year’s Day evening, when three students got lost on Y Garn. The following day they were called out to an incident where a walker had a long slide down a snow field next to the Devil’s Kitchen in Cwm Idwal.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, in common with many volunteer teams, had a record number of callouts in 2010, responding to 143 incidents.

  • Climbers reported another incident on Ben Nevis’s north face when two climbers had to be rescued from Point Five Gully by members of Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team.

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