Rescue team members prepare for the winch of the injured walker at Bwlch Coch. Photo: Alun Allcock

Rescue team members prepare for the winch of the injured walker at Bwlch Coch. Photo: Alun Allcock

A group of volunteer rescuers has clocked up a record number of missions this year – the first such team to respond to 200 incidents.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team chairman Rob Johnson called the double century of 2016 callouts a dubious honour.

The Snowdonia team was called out on Wednesday evening after two walkers called for help from Crib Goch on the Snowdon massif.

The pair got stuck on the pinnacles of the ridge after one of them broke an ankle. They called for help as night fell and the Llanberis team was alerted.

Team spokesman Gruff Owen said the two were traversing Crib Goch when one of them suffered the injury.

“They attempted to carry on but as the ankle injury impeded progress and darkness fell they decided to call for assistance,” he said.

“With low cloud preventing aircraft assistance a party of five team members was deployed on foot to recover the pair, with a further 11 team members in support. The casualty was treated for her injuries before being assisted to a point below the cloud where HM Coastguard’s Rescue 936 was able to retrieve the casualty and take her to Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital.”

He said Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s area of responsibility includes Snowdon, a mountain which attracts more visitors than any other in the UK. As a result, the team are called to a wide variety of incidents throughout the year. The team has seen a 400 per cent increase in the number of reported incidents over the past decade.

Team chairman Mr Johnson said: “It is a dubious honour to be the first team to surpass 200 incidents in a year and the figure follows our busiest ever summer with 43 callouts in 31 days in August.

“Every single incident is responded to by volunteers and this is an incredible achievement for each and every member of the team. My heartfelt thanks goes out to every team member and the families, friends and employers that support them and allow us to provide this service.”

Despite the avoidable nature of many of the incidents on Snowdon, Llanberis MRT said it has adopted an approach of non-criticism of mountain casualties, pressing instead for greater action and co-operation from agencies responsible for promoting and managing recreation in the area.

With full winter conditions prevailing on Snowdonia’s mountains in recent weeks, Mr Johnson said: “There are full winter conditions on the summits of the mountains in Snowdonia at the moment – many of us have been enjoying some fine skiing and winter mountaineering over the last 5-7 days.

“It is important that people plan for their mountain adventures properly: check a mountain forecast and establish where the snow and ice will start and plan to avoid them if you haven’t got the correct winter equipment and experience.

“You can have a great day in the mountains without having to go up high. Remember it is always easier heading up. Most accidents happen in winter when people try to descend on hard snow that is extremely slippery and often above steep drops. Enjoy the mountains safely.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Two teams rescue nine from Snowdon charity challenge stuck on Crib Goch
  2. Coastguard releases footage of second rescue of Snowdon walkers from Crib Goch
  3. Coastguard releases dramatic rescue footage after man injured in Crib Goch fall
  4. Snowdon walker dies after falling ’significant distance’ from Crib Goch
  5. Stranded Snowdon walker plucked from Crib Goch by rescue helicopter