The two couples strayed on to the mountain's West Face. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

The two couples strayed on to the mountain's West Face. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

A mountain rescuer warned that increasing numbers of walkers are going astray on a Snowdonia mountain after four people were led to safety from a rescue blackspot after getting stuck on steep ground.

The two couples, in their late 20s and early 30s and from Warrington, Cheshire, were descending the North Ridge of Tryfan on Sunday when they got into difficulties.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted about 2.10pm.

Chris Lloyd of the team said: “Like many before them and no doubt many who will follow, they wandered on to the notorious West Face where the steep slabs and loose rocks deter even the mountain goats.

“Having descended to a point of no return and being confronted by a vertical drop, they telephoned 999 to request assistance.

“They were quickly located on the West Face using Sarloc [a smartphone program], and a team of four was deployed. Local knowledge – and regular visits – meant that the team could walk to the casualties and escort them to safety.

“This navigational error is easy to make if you are unfamiliar with the mountain. And with the increasing numbers making that error, the paths to danger are becoming well worn.”

The team’s busy week, following its major Oggie 8 fundraising walk at the weekend, continued with a callout on Monday to a woman who injured herself while walking.

A couple was on a low-level walk between Capel Curig and Llyn Crafnant. Mr Lloyd said: “Unfortunately, the young woman twisted her ankle. She tried to self-rescue but was in too much pain.

“A call was made to the ambulance service, who contacted the police to mobilise mountain rescue. Three team members arrived at the casualty just as 22 Squadron [from RAF Valley] was arriving in the valley.

“After quick treatment for the ankle, she was able to hobble and slide into the helicopter which had landed nearby. She was flown to hospital in Bangor, while her walking partner made his own way off.

“This was just another of those unfortunate incidents which happen on rough terrain. The woman should be commended for trying to self-rescue.”

The following day, the team was called out to help a 22-year-old Cambridge man attempting the Welsh 3,000-footers.

Mr Lloyd said: “Having climbed three on Snowdon and two on the Glyderau range, he ascended into the clouds on Glyder Fawr.

“This rocky 1,000m summit can be featureless in poor visibility. Soon, this young man found himself looking down the crags of the Upper Cliff.

“Realising his predicament, he telephoned 999. Four team members were deployed, only to be beaten by 22 Squadron who had found the casualty as the clouds lifted.

“The casualty was winched aboard and dropped off at Oggie Base. He will have to complete his Welsh 3000s another day.

“Perhaps if he had taken a bit more time and thought before making the 999 call, he would have sorted his predicament. However, being alone on a big cliff in the cloud can be a daunting experience.”

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