The couple were tackling the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

The couple were tackling the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Terry Hughes CC-BY-SA-2.0

An elderly couple had to be rescued after getting into difficulties on a Snowdonia mountain.

The 80-year-old man from Powys and his wife, in her late 70s, were attempting the North Ridge of Tryfan, described in their guidebook as an easy ascent.

A walker who was on the mountain with three teenagers called the emergency services and expressed concern after coming across the couple, who were on a camping, cycling and walking holiday in the area.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted shortly before 6pm on Saturday.

Chris Lloyd of the team said: “Their guidebook described the North Ridge of Tryfan as being an easy ascent. However, the numerous challenges on this route slowed their progress.

“The informant with his party offered assistance. As they were so high up the ridge, he thought it best to gain the summit with a view to descending via the South Ridge. After slow progress, they all gained the summit where they met a couple of rock-climbers.

“Having called for mountain rescue assistance, it was decided that the Western Gully would be the best line of descent. Once the informant knew that mountain rescue were heading up the mountain, he was able to take his three teenagers off the mountain, leaving the senior couple with the two climbers.

“The mountain rescue team members made their way up into the dense cloud and found the party in the lower reaches of Western Gully. The helpers were able to leave the couple and make their own way down.”

Mr Lloyd said the woman indicated she would be able to continue walking off the mountain with the help of team members. He said: “Her husband managed to continue for a short distance after which it was decided that a stretcher evacuation would speed the process.”

Late in the evening, the team was told the Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter was available. The aircraft flew into the Ogwen Valley, which was shrouded in cloud.

Mr Lloyd said: “Once the stretcher party emerged from beneath the cloud, the helicopter was able to winch the stretcher on board and take the man to join his wife at Oggi Base.

“Here, after several cups of tea and some hot food, the grateful couple recovered from their experience and then drove back to their campsite in Southern Snowdonia.”

The rescue ended shortly before midnight.

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