Junior rescuers in action on the slopes of Tryfan. Photo: OVMRO

Junior rescuers in action on the slopes of Tryfan. Photo: OVMRO

Mountain rescuers in north Wales treated disabled and disadvantaged youngsters to a day in the great outdoors.

The mountain adventure day was hosted by teams from the North Wales Mountain Rescue Association.

Youngsters from four charities attended the event in and around the Ogwen Valley at the weekend. It was the second time the association has put on the activities for the children and young people, from Centrepoint, WellChild, Child Bereavement and A Place 2B.

The adventure days began when the umbrella body for mountain rescuers in England and Wales suggested the idea as a way of linking with charities its patron Prince William represented.

On Friday evening, members of three of the charities stayed at Wolverhampton’s outdoor education centre, The Towers. After settling in and having supper, they were introduced to the day ahead and to mountain rescue with a showing of the new Mountain Rescue England and Wales DVD.

Chris Lloyd of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation said: “The Towers was able to provide accommodation and specialist accommodation as well as equipment and specialist events for wheelchair users.

“From The Towers on Saturday morning, six students from Centrepoint, five teenagers from Child Bereavement and six children from A Place 2 B along with their supervisors and some parents were taken in mountain rescue transport to the crags at Gwern Gof Isaf farm – Big Willy’s campsite.”

Members of Llanberis and Ogwen teams instructed them in rock-climbing and abseiling.

Meanwhile at The Towers, all the Well Child families enjoyed the specialist facilities for abseiling and the zip-wire.

Later, the crag party was transported across the road to the Ogwen Valley team’s base at Bryn Poeth for lunch, after which they were briefed by a policeman about a report of two injured hillwalkers who had called for assistance. They were somewhere on the lower slopes of Tryfan.

The Well Child families took lunch at The Towers before being escorted up the tarmac road to Ffynnon Llugwy reservoir. Here, members of North East Wales Search & Rescue and the Search & Rescue Dog Association, assisted by the Police Air Support helicopter, gave a demonstration in search.

The new Coastguard helicopter at the event, with Tryfan in the distance. Photo: OVMRO

The new Coastguard helicopter at the event, with Tryfan in the distance. Photo: OVMRO

The group at Oggie Base loaded some kit on the Land Rovers and were whisked down the A5 to a drop off point. From here they searched for the two missing men. Soon contact was made and a radio message passed back to Oggie Base. After some ‘casualty care’ treatment, the casualties were loaded on to stretchers and carried to Gwern Gof Uchaf and then up the track to Oggie Base, where they were joined by the Well Child families and Newsar members for food and drink.

Mr Lloyd said: “During the afternoon, we were treated to a flying visit the distinctive yellow Sea King helicopter of C Flight 22 Squadron, RAF Valley which was ‘just passing’. The children were thrilled to see the distinctive rescue helicopter. However, they still had to complete the stretcher carries on foot.

“Then, per chance, Bristow’s new S-92 made a flying visit to familiarise its crews with the landing zone at Oggie Base.

“From the smiles and the many thank-yous, the day seems to have been a success, especially as once more, the sun shone in the Ogwen Valley.”

  • The north Wales rescue teams said a fond farewell today to the Sea King crews of RAF Valley, who handed over operations to the new Bristow search and rescue Sikorsky S-92 helicopters flying under the control of the Coastguard and based at Caernarfon.

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