The RAF helicopter flies over the ridge as rescuers illuminate Tryfan

The RAF helicopter flies over the ridge as rescuers illuminate Tryfan

A rescue team and its supporters lit up a Snowdonia mountain in a spectacular display to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Members of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation lined the North Ridge of Tryfan with torches to outline the mountain against the evening sky.

And a visit from RAF Valley’s Sea King helicopter completed the scene with a fly-over to add illumination.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley team said: “On a spring evening and with a cool easterly breeze wafting down the Ogwen Valley, members of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, along with members of the 333 Support Group and RAF Valley MRT stood along the Tryfan skyline awaiting sunset.

“Down in the valley, a convoy of film production vehicles was leaving their temporary village at Gwern Gof Isaf – Bill Willies – camp site. Guy Ritchie with Jude Law had been filming another Arthurian legend in the shadow of Tryfan for a week or so. It was a shame that they missed the developing spectacle as the sunset on a clear evening.

“At 8.30pm the signal was given and 90 or so torches shone down to Gwern Gof Isaf where professional photographers John Rowell and Marion Waine stood poised.

“The sun set behind the distinctive outline of Foel Goch and the Tryfan skyline was punctuated with the torch beams.

“Drivers entering the Ogwen Valley from Capel Curig were stunned by the spectacle, several of them stopping to capture this unique moment on their cameras and mobile phones. As the skies darkened the spectacle improved. For 40 minutes the 90 people stood motionless, unable to appreciate the scene that they were creating.

“Then after a radio call to say ‘End ex’, a long snake of torches, like twinkling diamonds, made their way down to Oggie Base.”

Mr Lloyd said, at the team’s base, an elite team of supporters had been busy preparing the welcome for hungry, thirsty and chilled torch bearers. Gallons of fresh vegetable soup, bottles of beer, urns of tea and coffee, flap-jack and other delights were enjoyed until the early hours of Saturday morning, he added.

He said: “Following the inspiration and organisation of team member, Jim Langley this unique and memorable event was a great success.

“The weather was good, there were no interruptions for callouts or reports of ‘lights seen on Tryfan’. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed being part of this celebration.

“In years to come, they will look at the numerous photographs and say the famous words of the Welsh folk singer Max Boyce, ‘I was there’.”

Ogwen Valley MRO is one of the country’s busiest, with regular calls to walkers and climbers on Tryfan, the Glyderau and Carneddau, as well as occasional sorties to support fellow Snowdonia teams such as Llanberis MRT, whose patch covers Snowdon.

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