The RAF Valley Sea King was in action rescuing three people yesterday

The RAF Valley Sea King was in action rescuing three people yesterday

Two climbers were airlifted to hospital after injuring themselves in two separate incidents in north Wales yesterday.

A 19-year-old student fell 30m (100ft) while ice climbing in the Cwm Cneifion – also known as the Nameless Cwm, on Glyder Fawr. He was aided initially by two members of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation who were climbing nearby.

The man, who was with a group of climbers from Imperial College, London, suffered injuries to his face and arm in the incident, about 2.15pm, and was airlifted to hospital by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation said: “They were climbing ice adjacent Tower Gully in Cwm Cneifion, NE of the summit of Glyder Fawr.

“He had taken about a 30m tumbling fall before being arrested by his second. He had sustained facial injuries and possible broken arm. Close by, a member of OVMRO team and mate were climbing Tower Gully. They were able to descend, carry out first aid and assist with lowering the casualty to the floor of the cwm.

“A team leader who was on the ridge above commandeered a rope from some climbers so as to descend the back wall of the cwm and attend the scene.

“This was a ‘bad luck’ accident, as the group was well equipped.”

The RAF Valley crew also airlifted a climber from sea cliffs later on Holyhead Mountain, Anglesey, the same afternoon after he fell 8m (25ft), suffering suspected broken ankles. The 22-year-old was airlifted to hospital by the RAF crew after being tended to by paramedics and the Holyhead lifeboat.

The RAF helicopter flew a third man from Glyder Fawr after he fell about 10m (33ft) while walking with a group of nine from Chester. The walker had a suspected broken leg.

Mr Lloyd said: “About 2pm, we received a call for a fallen walker on the snow field of hard névé on the path from above the Devil’s Kitchen leading up to the summit of Glyder Fawr.

“The fallen walker was a 26-year-old man from Chester and part of a group of nine. The group had arrived at the snow field and had started up it. Three of the group were better equipped were able to progress up the snow field.

The six decided to turn back, but one of them took a sliding fall of 10m or so during which he sustained a possible broken lower leg. OVMRO requested assistance from 22 Squadron, RAF Valley, who despatched its Sea King helicopter. They lowered a winchman to the scene before heading to Oggi Base to collect two Ogwen MR troops.”

Mr Lloyd said the six were poorly shod and had no ice axe or crampons.

He continued: “Meanwhile the helicopter picked up the two Og troops and then dropped a second winchman – it’s not common practice to have two on board – at the Cneifion site where the man had a suspected broken arm and then dropped he two Og troops at the Glyder Fawr site.

“The helicopter retuned to winch up the Cwm Cneifion casualty and took him directly to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, because of the risk of further injuries due to the nature of the fall.

“The helicopter returned to collect the broken leg casualty and take him to the same hospital.

“The remainder of the Imperial College party were able to complete their day and the OVMRO troops walked down.

“On the slopes of Glyder Fawr, the two Og troops had to cut numerous steps in the névé snow and carefully assist the ill-shod group from Chester.

“This year has seen a number of cases of people getting into trouble due to the lack of ice axes and crampons on fields of hard snow.”

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