An RAF Sea King airlifted rescuers to the site after the Tour of Britain closed roads

An RAF Sea King airlifted rescuers to the site after the Tour of Britain closed roads

Mountain rescuers had to be airlifted out of their base to help in an operation after local roads were closed because of the Tour of Britain cycle race.

The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team members were trying to answer a callout being handled by a neighbouring team in the Ogwen Valley.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was called by police just before 1pm yesterday, Wednesday, after two men were injured on a scrambling route on Llech Ddu on Carnedd Dafydd.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley team said: “Information was limited as the Llech Ddu spur off the north side of Carnedd Dafydd can be a communications blackspot.

“The report was of a party of 10 men on a training day.

“A boulder had fallen injuring two men, one with broken legs and possible back injuries; the other was out of contact but was believed to be conscious.

“The 10-man group, two leader-instructors and eight students all in their 30s and 40s, were scrambling up the classic Llech Ddu spur.

“As they climbed, the lead climber pulled on a rock which came way, smashing him on the face and knocking him a short distance down the crag.

“The rock continued down, striking a second man, breaking his leg and also sending down the crag a short distance.”

The men were scrambling on the Llech Ddu spur on Carnedd Dafydd. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

The men were scrambling on the Llech Ddu spur on Carnedd Dafydd. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

Mr Lloyd said Carnedd Dafydd was in cloud cover so direct rescue by the Sea King helicopter of 22 Squadron from RAF Valley was impossible.

“Being midweek, like most civvy MRTs, Ogwen would not be able to raise enough troops for such a rescue.

“The team leader requested 22 Squadron to bring six RAF mountain rescue troops from Valley and drop them as high up the mountain as possible.

“The Sarcall system alerts all MRT leaders in the area and Llanberis MRT immediately offered assistance.

“This was accepted but the team members couldn’t get out of their valley because of the bike race.

“Solution: taxi service courtesy of 22 Squadron, who again deposited them high up on the mountain.”

Mr Lloyd said further Llanberis members were able to make their way to the Ogwen Valley MRO base to help with a ground-based rescue.

“Meanwhile 22 Squadron had to pop down to Caernarfon Airport for a quick refuel. By the time they returned, the RAF MRT had reached the scene.

“By the time the helicopter returned, the breeze had increased, clearing the cloud sufficiently for a quick winch of the man with the head injuries.

“He was whisked down to hospital at Bangor. Once more the aircraft returned in the hope of favourable weather conditions.

Fortunately, this was so. The second casualty was winched and flown to hospital.”

The helicopter was then able to return to the crag to airlift the six RAF Valley MRT members and the five from Llanberis MRT back to their bases.

Mr Lloyd said Aberglaslyn MRT also offered more members if helicopter rescue had not been successful.

Later that evening, the Ogwen Valley team’s training session was interrupted by another callout.

Two local women went for an evening walk up to Llyn Caseg-fraith, east of Glyder Fach and in the shadow of Bristly Ridge.

Mr Lloyd said they were descending at dusk on the path by Tryfan Bach slabs when one of the women slipped on steep tussocky ground, dislocating her ankle.

“A stretcher party was deployed immediately. In darkness, she was carried down to the farm Gwern Gof Uchaf, aka Little Willy’s, to a waiting ambulance.

“This too was an unfortunate accident as both women were well equipped for this evening walk.”

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