Spaniel Molly was among those rescued from Tryfan's North Face. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

Spaniel Molly was among those rescued from Tryfan's North Face. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

Two children and a dog were among a group who had to be rescued from a scrambling route in Snowdonia in deteriorating weather.

The family of four, from Essex, called for help today from the North Ridge of Tryfan after straying on to difficult ground.

It was the second rescue in two days on the ridge for Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, which also went to the aid of a couple who got into difficulties on the mountain.

The team was alerted about 1.40pm on Tuesday after the group, including a five- and eight-year-old and a cocker spaniel named Molly, called for help.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said the group were on half-term holiday in Snowdonia and set off up the North Ridge about 9.30am, hoping to clear the 917m (3,009ft) summit before the expected deterioration in conditions about lunchtime.

Mr Lloyd said the ridge is quite a challenge for children that age, and for the dog. He said: “Before they had reached the fortress-like rocks of the North Tower, the weather had already changed. The cloud had smothered the tops and strong gusts of wind whipped out from between the rocks.

“These were punctuated with some heavy rain showers. Arriving at the foot of the North Tower, they tried to escape from the weather and stepped down on to the Eastern Traverse at the top of Bastow Gully.

“With two cold, wet, tired and frightened children and not being familiar with this rocky summit, they decided to take shelter and call for help. The two children were wrapped in warm clothing and bivvy bag and tucked behind rocks to shelter them from the weather.”

After receiving the call for help, rescuers tried to use the Sarloc system to pinpoint their position, but a poor mobile signal meant several attempts had to be made before the smartphone software could determine their location.

Mr Lloyd said: “A party of four was dispatched up the North Ridge into the cloud.

“The prospect of walking this distressed family down the North Ridge before darkness reinforced the decision to request the assistance of the yellow Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley.

“Flying in low cloud and turbulent conditions, the pilot managed to hold a hover next to the crags of the North Tower, whilst the winchman made a quick snatch for the mother and two young children.

“They were flown down to Oggi Base at Bryn Poeth. The father and Molly were located by the four team members and walked down off the mountain and to Oggi Base by about 4pm.”

He added: “A bit too much of an adventure for two young children on their half-term holiday but hopefully they will soon forget the distress and just recall the adventure.”

The previous day, the Ogwen Valley team was called by a couple in their 50s from Stafford.

After getting hit by bad weather, the pair tried to escape by using the North Gully off the North Ridge.

Mr Lloyd said: “This is a popular escape route as long as you know and remember to escape into Little Gully to avoid two big drops in the main gully. This couple were not familiar with this route.

“When one of the party became distressed they called for mountain rescue.

“Once the team leader realised where they were and the consequences of continuing their descent, he told them to stay where they were and await rescue.

“Perhaps this instruction was not clear, for the couple continued to slither and slide down until they arrived on the Heather Terrace to meet a couple of members from Ogwen Valley mountain rescue. From here, they were escorted off the mountain – the safe way.”

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