Craig yr Ysfa, right, and the Bwlch Eryl Farchog. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Craig yr Ysfa, right, and the Bwlch Eryl Farchog. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two climbers were rescued in a night-time operation lasting eight hours.

The pair, from Peterborough, were reported overdue after setting out for a route on Carnedd Llewelyn in Snowdonia.

A colleague in the valley rang police about 9.15pm on Saturday to say the men had not returned from a climb on Craig yr Ysfa. They were on the 230m (750ft) multi-pitch Great Gully route which, although rated Very Difficult, has a reputation of being more of a challenge, with wet conditions and some tricky crux sections.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted and contacted the pair, who were on the penultimate section, the Cave Pitch, by mobile phone.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said: “With a poor weather forecast for Sunday, it was decided that it was best that we went to rescue them.”

The team requested help from the Sea King helicopter based at RAF Valley, but a reconnaissance flight confirmed low cloud and strong gusty winds made an air rescue impossible, so 14 members of the OVMRO went to the climbers’ aid.

Mr Lloyd said: “The two male had set off up Great Gully a bit later than planned due to navigational problems finding the bottom of the route. By the time they reached the penultimate pitch, they were running out of daylight.

“A team of about 14 was deployed, two spotters to opposite the bottom of the 800ft [245m] crag and dozen to the top.

“Cloud level varied with the casualties appearing and disappearing from view by the spotters. The team on the top was guided to the correct gully. A team member was lowered into the cave and then hauled back up with one man at a time.

“The whole operation was concluded by about 5.30am. The two men were well equipped and it was just a case of a later than planned start up a long route.”

The incident was the Ogwen Valley team’s 20th of the year.

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