Mountain rescuers have criticised a guide book used by a walker who fell to his death on a Snowdonia peak.
The inquest into the death of 32-year-old Christopher Parratt heard that the book was misleading and contained a map that was virtually impossible to use. Mr Parratt and his wife Jennifer Parratt had used a chapter called Tryfan the Easy Way. The court was told there is no easy way up the mountain.
Walks in the Snowdonia Mountains
Mrs Parratt told the hearing that they had bought the book Walks in the Snowdonia Mountains, by Don Hinson, in Betws-y-Coed, along with a map and compass. The couple, from St Leonard, Oxford, had become confused in poor visibility after following Heather Terrace on the eastern side of the mountain. They reached the summit of Tryfan and tried to make their way down. Mrs Parratt said by this time they had lost confidence in the book.
Mr Parratt lost his grip and fell 30ft. His wife managed to descend to him and called the rescue service. She gave him first aid but by the time the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) reached the couple, two hours later, there were no signs of life.
Consultant pathologist Mark Lord told the coroner the cause of death was a fractured skull due to a fall from a height.
Det Insp David Gerwyn Lloyd, who is also a member of the Ogwen Valley MRT, told the hearing at Caernarvon: “The title Tryfan, The Easy Way, is extremely misleading and gives a false representation.
“It is a serious mountain, a mountaineering mountain, and there are no paths on it.”
Mr Lloyd said any ascent of Tryfan would involve using hands and feet. Passing her verdict, Deputy North-West Wales Coroner Nicola Jones said she agreed with the mountain experts. She said: “Gerwyn Lloyd said clearly that the information in the book and the map attached was useless and led to the couple getting lost on the mountain.”
After the hearing, Myrddin ap Dafydd of publishers Gwasg Carreg Gwalch defended the guide, saying there were warnings about the precautions necessary when venturing on to the Welsh mountains, and that Tryfan was described as the hardest mountain in the book. He went on to say that the information in the book would be reviewed.
Mr Parratt’s widow called for the £2.75 guide to be withdrawn from sale.