Y Garn, site of the incident. Photo:Richard Webb CC-BY-SA-2.0

Y Garn, site of the incident. Photo:Richard Webb CC-BY-SA-2.0

A man has died in an avalanche on a Snowdonia mountain.

The walker, in his mid-30s, fell about 150m (500ft) when a cornice collapsed on Y Garn this afternoon.

A woman who was also involved in the avalanche survived unhurt, but was shocked and shaken in the incident, which happened on Banana Gully on the 947m (3,107ft) mountain.

A Mountain Guide who was in the area rescued the woman and dug the man out of the avalanche debris but the walker had died of his injuries.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted to the incident at about 2.15pm and 12 members of the team were airlifted by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley, along with nine members of RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Team, to the cloudbase in Cwm Clyd beneath the gully.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley team said the man met two women students on the summit of Y Garn and the trio discussed the best way off the mountain in the bad visibility.

Cloud was covering the summit and paths on the mountain were concealed by a covering of fresh, wet snow.

The three walkers headed for the north-east ridge, a regular descent route from the summit.

Mr Lloyd said: “It looks like they wandered on to a large cornice at the top of Banana Gully. The cornice broke – about 50m long – casting the male and one female down the gully.

“The female came to rest only a short distance down. She was rescued by a passing British Mountain Guide.

“He was able to abseil down to her and bring her back to the ridge. She was shocked but unharmed.

“Then at great risk he descended the gully to look for the man. He found him further down the gully and dug him out. He found the casualty had injuries which were not compatible to life.”

Mr Lloyd said the walker was well equipped and had the appropriate clothing for the conditions.

Mr Lloyd said: “Team members were flown up not knowing the full story and were prepared to probe the avalanche for more than one casualty.

“Equipped with avalanche transceivers, probes and shovels a small group made their way into the large cone of avalanche debris to the casualty, while other members stood by at a safe distance.

“The casualty was loaded onto the stretcher and sledged off the mountain down to the road.”

The man’s body was taken by the team’s Land Rover to hospital at Bangor.

North Wales Police said they were not releasing any details at present.

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