Six climbers were rescued from a north Wales crag after one of their party fell and injured himself.
The night-time rescue was carried out by an RAF Sea King helicopter after emergency services were alerted by a mobile phone call. The team of five men and one woman, from Manchester, got into difficulties after the injured climber slowed their progress on the Y Lliwedd face on the Snowdon massif.
The helicopter crew used the aircraft’s searchlight as Sgt Ed Griffiths was winched down to the climbers. He clipped on to their belay and the stranded mountaineers were then lifted up into the helicopter, two at a time.
Sgt Griffiths was then lifted with the final pair back to the craft. None of the rescued climbers needed hospital treatment. Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team was also scrambled and stood by in the valley. The 200m cliff is rated one of the toughest in north Wales, despite its rating as only ‘Difficult’. Climbers say its rock is often poor quality, slow-drying and very slippery when wet.
The winchman said it was one of the most difficult rescues he had been involved in. The climbers were roped together but found it hard to make progress after one injured his knees. After the 999 call, they were told to stay put until rescued.
20 members of the Llanberis team were also mobilised for the rescue.