The woman fell while descending the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

The woman fell while descending the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

A woman has died after falling from a scrambling route on a Snowdonia mountain.

The walker, in her early 50s and from the Stockport area, was coming down the North Ridge of Tryfan with her husband when she fell.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was called out about 6.30pm on Good Friday when the man made a 999 call from high up on the 918m (3,010ft) peak.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said: “He reported that his wife had fallen down a gully. He was unable to get to her. And that is about all the information he was able to give. We were unable to make further contact.

“The couple had scrambled up the renowned North Ridge with the intention of descending via the Western Gully, the only safe exit on the West Face. Unfortunately, they missed the Western Gully, continuing back down the North Ridge until finding the distinctive Notch and its gully, which runs steeply down the West Face.

“We believe that the woman had gone on ahead down the gully. Her husband was more cautious. Sadly, she slipped over one of the difficult rock steps and fell a considerable distance. He was unable to follow or see her and telephoned for help.”

The rescue team requested the help of the Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter, which flew to the OVMRO base to pick up two team members to act as observers.

Mr Lloyd said: “By now, the wind speed and strong gusts had increased. The aircraft was thrown around and buffeted making any chance of a helicopter rescue nil. Two very green members were eventually dropped off at the landing zone behind Oggie Base after a difficult approach by the aircraft.”

Two parties of team members made their way on to the mountain to search for the couple and were joined shortly afterwards by colleagues from the Llanberis team and later by Aberglaslyn MRT members.

Mr Lloyd said: “The party on the North Ridge came across the distraught husband and from his location were able to identify the probable casualty site. While two members of the rescue party escorted him down the mountain to the relative comfort of Oggie Base, others abseiled down to find the woman. Her injuries were not compatible with life.”

Other members of the rescue parties gathered at the base of the gully after a very windy search of the mountain. Aberglaslyn members, who had been standing by at the Ogwen Valley base, brought the stretcher up. The woman was pronounced dead by the team doctor.

Mr Lloyd said her body was stretchered down a very steep and very loose gully to the A5 road. She was taken to Oggie Base where her husband was being cared for by team members and a police officer. Later, two members drove her to the hospital at Bangor.

The rescue operation ended about 5am.

Mr Lloyd said: “The couple seemed well equipped for a scramble up the North Ridge on a glorious day. It is a great shame that the day ended with such a tragic accident.”

The team had earlier that day been called out to a climber who broke her ankle when she fell about 10m (33ft) on to grass while leading a route at a site known locally as London Crags, near the University of London Mountaineering Club’s Caseg Fraith Hut.

Team members treated her injuries and carried a short way to their Land Rover. She was driven a short distance and handed to the Welsh Ambulance Service at the roadhead.

It was a week in which Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation said farewell to a former leader.

Roger Jones MBE, who died after a short illness

Roger Jones MBE, who died after a short illness

On Thursday, team members took part in the funeral service for Roger Jones, a founding member of the rescue team in 1965. He was appointed leader in 1969.

Mr Lloyd said: “Previously, through the Scouts, he had been active with Ogwen Cottage Mountain Rescue Team in his youth.

“Roger was an active committee member of OVMRO serving as treasurer, chairman and transport officer while being fully active at the sharp end on the hill. He was very much at the forefront of the design and development of the Ogwen Stretcher and the total refurbishment of Bryn Poeth – Oggie Base – in the late 1980s.

“Roger died two weeks ago after a short illness. The funeral service was conducted by members of OVMRO. The chapel was filled with team members present and past. The celebration continued at the Tyn y Coed Hotel, Capel Curig in true Roger style, as a tribute to Jones the Voice, the voice of the Ogwen Valley.”

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