A schoolboy died after a fall from a ridge in Snowdonia yesterday.

The 11-year-old, from Liverpool, fell 60m from Crib y Ddysgl on the Snowdon horseshoe. He died in the Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor after being airlifted from the mountain by RAF helicopter.

The boy, who has not been named, was ridge walking with his family and another group when the accident happened. He suffered serious head injuries when he tumbled from the ridge on Garnedd Ugain, a kilometre north of Snowdon summit.

The walkers had made their way from Crib Goch on to the next ridge en route for Snowdon when the boy slipped and fell.  30 members of the Llanberis and Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Teams (MRTs) went to the aid of the parties. The youngster was carried to lower slopes where a helicopter from RAF Valley was able to land. Low cloud prevented the aircraft operating where the boy fell.

The emergency services received a 999 call just before 1pm and the helicopter was mobilised. However, because of the weather, rescue teams had to make their way to the casualty on foot from where he was carried by a difficult traverse, and it was dusk when he was stretchered to the RAF team.

Sadly, the tragedy came on the day North Wales Police and mountain authorities launched their Mountainsafe campaign for the region. 110 people were rescued from the Snowdon and Ogwen Valley areas last year and the scheme was devised to try to reduce the number of casualties on the north Wales mountains.

Dion Jones, who works for the Snowdonia National Park Authority, said: “The national park has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and this, combined with the ease of access to our mountains, provides a great attraction to those who enjoy outdoor recreation.

“However, too many hill walkers venture out without the proper clothing and equipment. All should have maps and compasses and know how to use them. In snow and icy conditions an ice axe and crampons should be carried and individuals should know how to use them.”

A free safety course run by Mr Jones is taking place today at Plas y Brenin and there are plans to host further training days.

Det Insp Gerwyn Lloyd of North Wales Police said: “It is imperative that experienced and would-be walkers take appropriate clothing and equipment and consider the hazardous conditions they may encounter before setting out.
“Weather in the mountains can change dramatically in a short space of time and it is essential that walkers are prepared for every eventuality.”

  • Rescue teams in Cumbria were able to help six fellwalkers to safety after they got into difficulties in a notorious accident blackspot on England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.

35 members of the Wasdale, Cockermouth, Duddon and Furness and Keswick Mountain Rescue Teams spent eight hours in a protracted and difficult rescue in Piers Gill. Original information, in a call at 4.20pm, had indicated there were two walkers ‘stuck on a ledge overlooking a river on Scafell Pike’. The teams had no other information.

Richard Warren, chairman of the Wasdale MRT, told grough: “As the incident unfolded, it became apparent that the incident involved six fellwalkers: two separate parties of three who had joined forces after losing the path in thick cloud and heavy rain.

“They had strayed into Piers Gill, an accident black spot in Wasdale where four of the party became cragfast, one fell some distance into the bottom of the gill and the sixth managed to make his way out where he met the rescue team who were searching for the two ‘reported|’ missing walkers.  

“After a very difficult and technical extrication all six walkers were escorted back to the valley. Miraculously, apart from a few bumps and bruises all were uninjured.”

Rescue teams across the UK have reported an increase in emergency calls from walkers who have got lost on mountains and fells.

North Wales Police/Mountainsafe

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