The walkers got into difficulties on Tryfan's West Face. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

The walkers got into difficulties on Tryfan's West Face. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

An injured walker had to be airlifted to hospital after straying on to a mountain face described by rescuers as ‘unforgiving’.

A Sea King search and rescue helicopter winched the man from a gully on Tryfan yesterday after he suffered injuries to his face, hip and hands.

The walker was two others from Cambridge who tackled the grade-one scrambling route up the mountain’s North Ridge.

Chris Lloyd, of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, which was eventually called out to help the man, said the trio began the ascent of the ridge. “Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated so they decided not to top out but descend back to their car.

“At The Notch, they decided to descend the gully down the West Face. While a number of people do descend this steep and loose gully successfully, escaping to Y Gully then traversing out onto the grasslands below the Western Gully, some continue to a point of no return or to an accident.

“One of the three took a short tumbling fall at the base of the gully, injuring his face, hands and hip. One of his colleagues ran down the steep and loose Brant Gully towards the A5 road so as to get a phone signal.

“He made the 999 call and asked for ‘ambulance’. A road ambulance was despatched and the crew met the informant on the road. He described where his injured friend was lying and all three made their way back up the 350m ascent.

“En route, the paramedics requested the assistance of the yellow Sea King helicopter of C Flight 22 Squadron [from RAF Valley]. As this call had to be via North Wales Police, the police were alerted of this incident and mobilised OVMRO at about 7pm.

“Four team members made their way up to the ambulance crew and eventually to the casualty.”

Mr Lloyd said the helicopter lowered its winchman while a second group of team members with a stretcher made its way up the mountainside.

He said: “Fortunately, the casualty was able to be winched directly from the mountain side and was delivered to hospital in Bangor. The two ambulance crew carefully descended to the A5 road with MRT members.”

Mr Lloyd said the rescue was an unfortunate case of poor route finding and local knowledge. “The West Face can be very deceptive and unforgiving,” he added.

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