The men spent a cold night on Y Garn. Photo: David Crocker CC-BY-SA-2.0

The men spent a cold night on Y Garn. Photo: David Crocker CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two men were airlifted to hospital suffering from hypothermia after having to spend the night on a Snowdonia mountain.

The pair were caught out by wintry weather on Y Garn and became disoriented before finally calling for help early this morning.

The walkers, one in his mid-50s and the other aged in his mid-60s had been camping in the Ogwen Valley and set off about 4pm yesterday.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, which was called out shortly after 6am today, Thursday, said: “Ascending past the Devil’s Kitchen from Cwm Idwal, they turned right and headed for the summit.

“Soon, in deteriorating visibility, they became disorientated. In strong winds and frequent whiteouts, they sought to self-rescue rather than call for assistance. Eventually, with the older of the two men suffering the effects of hypothermia, the younger man made the 999 call shortly after 6am.

“Mobile phone reception was poor so their probable location could not be obtained. Six members were deployed to search Y Garn, soon to be supported by 10 members of the RAF Mountain Rescue Team from RAF Valley. 22 Squadron’s Sea King [from RAF Valley] was restricted by the strong winds and low cloud level.

“Llanberis MRT had additional members available to assist should the initial search not be successful.

“By mid-morning, the two were found sitting in the snow on the exposed ridge north-west of the summit. They both needed treatment for hypothermia.

“They were loaded on to stretchers and carried to below cloud cover from where the Sea King was able to winch them aboard. They were flown to hospital in Bangor where they are now recovering.”

Mr Lloyd said the two men had not expected to be caught in such wintry weather.
He said it was a successful outcome and successful joint operation involving the professional RAF rescue services and the volunteers of the civilian MRTs.

But he added: “As team members headed out to search for these two men, they met two lightly equipped and shod young men in Cwm Idwal.

“In passing conversation, the men said that they were going up Tryfan. When it was suggested that they might be too lightly equipped for that route, the rescue team members were advised that ‘it’s a free country so who’s stopping them’.

“So despite all the information, education and advice, people are still prepared to take the risk.”

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