The woman strayed into steep ground above Idwal Slabs. Photo: OVMRO

The woman strayed into steep ground above Idwal Slabs. Photo: OVMRO

A walker was rescued from a rocky ledge after straying on to climbing crags while coming down a Snowdonia mountain.

The woman, in her 20s and from London, was airlifted after getting stuck above the Idwal Slabs on Glyder Fawr.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted about 8.30pm on Friday when the walker made a call to emergency services.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said she and a colleague were recceing the area for a youth group visiting at the weekend.

He said: “While her colleague had checked Y Garn and descended successfully before dark, she had a made a navigational error on the summit of Glyder Fawr while exploring the Glyder plateau.

“There had been low cloud on the tops late in the afternoon. Her intention was to descend the Gribin Ridge. In fact she descended Seniors’ Ridge which leads to the top of the Idwal Slabs rock-climbing crags.

“With the onset of darkness and using her torch, she followed an obvious route off the side of the ridge but which leads to the top of Introductory Gully.

“With no obvious escape, she made a good effort to descend by torchlight until it was too dangerous to continue. Now, perched on a small ledge, between the gully and the routes on the Idwal slabs, she wisely made the 999 call.”

Mr Lloyd said one of the team, who was already at the OVMRO base, went to Cwm Idwal to try to find her.

He said the Sarloc system, which uses smartphone technology to give a position of the user’s phone, placed her on or about the Idwal Slabs.

He said: “But a few metres horizontally either way can mean a difference of several vertical metres. She could be seen about 60m high, between the Idwal Slabs and the gully.

“Team members would have to climb above her then come down a rope system to either lift her to safe ground or lower her to the footpath below. To set this up would take time on this clear and frosty night.

“Fortunately, 22 Squadron from RAF Valley were able to assist. By the light of the stars and the rising moon, they flew into Cwm Idwal over the icy calm lake. They were able to see this lone torch beam shining from the darkness of the crag.

“With their usual high degree of expertise, the crew lowered the winchman to this this small ledge. He was able to grab the cold and frightened woman and quickly secure her in the strop.

“She was winched to safety and delivered to the warmth of Oggie Base, leaving the sole rescue team member to enjoy the walk back from the cwm.

“He was able to collect the concerned colleague who was staying at Idwal Youth Hostel, and reunite him with her at Oggie Base.

“We assume that the youth group arrived in the valley later that evening and was able to enjoy the splendours of the surrounding mountains over the weekend.”

The team also had to rescue a family lost on a hill in the darkness with no torches on Sunday.

Members were called out about 5.30pm when the man, his 17-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son called for help when coming down Moel Siabod near Capel Curig.

Mr Lloyd said: “Their aim was to return to Capel Curig where they had left their car.

“While they reported being able to see the A5 road which passes through Capel Curig, Sarloc placed them on the south side of the mountain looking at the A470 and Crimea Pass to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

“A local team member was able to take his Land Rover up a rough track to within 500m of the family party.

“RAF Valley MRT had been training in the area and were passing by, were also requested to assist.

“From the rough track, MRT members made their way up the hillside, finding the group and brought them down to the team vehicles.

“They were delivered to their car.”

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