Rescuers were twice called out to walkers stuck on the same mountain route in Snowdonia at the weekend.
Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation had a busy few days, with the two rescues on Tryfan’s North Ridge among four alerts for the team.
North Wales Police contacted them shortly after 3pm on Friday after a couple in their 30s from the West Midlands said they were lost in cloud and rain on the ridge.
Chris Lloyd of OVMRO said: “They had set out at about midday up the North Ridge. The forecast was for conditions to deteriorate and that’s what they did. By the time the couple reached the North Tower, they realised that it would be best to turn about and descend.
“On their descent they felt that they had wandered off route and made the 999 call for advice.
“Using Sarloc to locate the mobile telephone, they were located low down on the North Ridge, just above the screes known as Piccadilly Circus. Four team members were despatched to find and escort the couple down to Oggie Base, just across the A5 road from the North Ridge. The incident was closed by about 5pm.”
The following day, team volunteers were again called about 5.20pm out to aid a cyclist who was injured when he came off his machine.
Mr Lloyd said: “A mountain biker had taken a tumble on the Marin Trail in the Gwydir Forest above Llanrwst and Betws y Coed. The man was one of a group of friends from all over England who were having a get-together in Snowdonia.
“Unfortunately, he had fallen off his bike breaking his collar bone and injuring his shoulder. Team members were able to locate the casualty and carry him a short distance to the ambulance. An unfortunate start to a weekend of adventure and fun.”
On Sunday, Ogwen Valley team members were again called out to rescue a woman with a broken leg on a Snowdonia mountain.
Mr Lloyd said a couple from the Conwy Valley were walking by Llyn Cowlyd reservoir in the Carneddau range. “There was a strong breeze with showers,” he said. “At the south-western, Capel Curig, end, the woman in her 40s slipped on a wet rock on the path and broke her lower leg.
“Although equipped well enough for this Sunday afternoon walk, they had no contingency kit. The man was able to get a 999 call to North Wales Police but reception was poor.
“Two passing mountain bikers were able to wrap the woman in a space blanket to protect her from the strong breeze. They then went on to find a better signal to ensure that the message had got through. Ogwen MRT members were called out to the original message of ‘leg injury, Llyn Cowlyd’.
“This lake lies between the Ogwen and Conwy valleys and is nearly 3km long. A pincer action was hatched with MRT members moving from either end. The couple were soon found, being comforted by another passing couple.
“The casualty was put into a casualty group shelter and treated for her injuries. It was felt that an evacuation by helicopter would be the best for the casualty but the strong wind whistling down this valley might prevent this.
“Undeterred, the yellow Sea King held a hover for sufficient time for the casualty to be winched aboard and flown to hospital in Bangor. As her husband was being walked back to the road head and for delivery to his house, information came through of a 999 call for persons stuck in Tryfan – somewhere.”
Mr Lloyd said there were a few members of North East Wales Search and Rescue in the area, so they began a search for the lost walkers while Ogwen Valley volunteers completed the rescue of the woman at Llyn Cowlyd.
He said: “Once again, the information had been sparse.
“Sarloc was not an option. Reports came in of shouts for help being heard. Ogwen troops were also deployed as more Newsar members arrived at Oggie Base. Just below cloud base, two Newsar members located the stranded couple who had wandered onto the steep craggy ground of the West Face, below the Cannon Rock.
“A joint effort managed to bring the two back to the familiar path and back to Oggie Base by about 7.30pm.”