Thepair got into difficulties on Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Thepair got into difficulties on Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two men from eastern Europe who had to be brought to safety from a Snowdonia mountain were relieved when they were told there would be no charge for the rescue.

The pair, one of whom lives in Lancashire, and his friend who was visiting him, got stuck in darkness on Tryfan yesterday.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was called out after the lights from their mobile phones were spotted on the mountain.

The men spent a day in north Wales, visiting Llandudno and Conwy Castle before heading for the mountains of Snowdonia.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said: “In the Ogwen Valley they saw Tryfan. Checking the OS map on their phone, the summit appeared only a short distance from the A5 road.

“So the ventured up the rocky North Ridge. Unlike many European mountain walks, the way to the summit of Tryfan is not marked with painted rocks or signposts. By the time they reached the towering wall of the North Tower, it was mid-afternoon.

“Wisely, they decided to return down the ridge. Unfortunately, with the onset of darkness, they lost any sort of path. They tried in vain, going up and down using the lights on their phones. These lights were seen and reported to North Wales Police.

“A short time later, they realised it would be best to get assistance so made the 999 call. Two team members were dispatched whilst half a dozen waited at Oggie Base in case the extraction not simple.

“Fortunately, the two young men were easily located on difficult ground above the Milestone Buttress. With the assistance of a short rope, the two were brought back to the safety of the A5 and to Oggie Base.

“They were embarrassed by the incident and concerned about how much it was going to cost.

“A look of relief came to their faces when it was explained that not only do we have free access to much of our countryside, but rescue is free too.”

The Ogwen Valley team had earlier been called to four young men from Prestatyn who had got stuck in their 4×4 vehicle in the forests at the foot of Moel Siabod.

Mr Lloyd said: “Sadly, they found that however good one’s 4×4 car is, it is no match for trails cut through the forestry by large machines.

“So with the 4×4 refusing to progress, they were stuck, cold, hungry, without torches and without knowing where they were and surrounded by trees.

“They decided to dial 999 to get assistance. North Wales Police kindly past this to mountain rescue. A couple of team members who are in the ‘tree’ business, located the four and brought them to the safety and warmth of a local hostelry where they were interviewed by a member of North Wales Police.

“As for the 4×4? Well it will be spending a long, cold and lonely night. And a large tree-eating machine will probably find it on its way to work. From there on is anyone’s guess.”

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