A group including three children was rescued from a Snowdonia mountain after getting lost in poor conditions.
The party of six, including three youngsters between 10 and 13, called for help after getting into difficulties on Cadair Idris on Sunday.
Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team was alerted about 7.30pm to the group’s plight on the 893m (2,930ft) mountain.
The walkers, from the Wrexham area, had set off from Minffordd about 8.30am and reached the peak’s summit about 1.30pm. The group took a wrong turn on their descent.
Graham O’Hanlon of the rescue team said the walkers were well equipped. “They made attempts to get back on track but with the children starting to fatigue, and with poor visibility and failing light, the party opted to take to their emergency shelters and seek help,” he said.
“With an accurate grid reference provided by the party, rescue volunteers were able to drive on a hill track to a nearby sheep shelter from where they deployed on foot.
“The casualty party shone torches in the direction of the approaching rescuers, so their position was quickly identified. The group was escorted down the team vehicle, and with a couple of shuttle-runs, were taken down off the mountain and back to their vehicle.
“Everyone was off the mountain and back at the Minffordd car park by 10.40pm.”
While the rescue was underway, the team’s call-handlers were alerted to concerns about a trio of walkers on Cadair Idris. The man and two women, reported as in their 20s and poorly equipped, had last been seen in the summit hut about 4.30pm as darkness was about to fall.
They were described as ‘looking out of their depth’.
Mr O’Hanlon said: “In conversation with the informant, the party had mentioned that they were doing the Mynydd Moel loop from Minffordd, but seemed to have little idea of their route and directed the informant 180 degrees in the wrong direction.
“The informant continued with her own journey and returned to the Minffordd car park some time later in the evening where she found three cars. Being concerned for the wellbeing of the walkers, she called the police to report her concerns once back in signal.
“Call-handlers were able to establish that two of the cars were likely to belong to the casualty party from the ongoing rescue which left the possibility that the third belonged to this ‘missing’ party.
“With this in mind, the team was put on standby while further developments were awaited.
“It was felt that, since a group of 20 year olds may well have a working phone between them, and that no calls had been received by North Wales Police regarding this matter, then it was unclear whether an emergency actually existed.
“With the team vehicles, and a number of team volunteers in the closing stages of a rescue nearby, it was decided to await a search of the car-park and other likely parking spots once the first job had been completed.
“On their return to Minffordd, the team found only two cars in the park, both belonging to the casualty party they were accompanying, and with surrounding parking spots empty, the callout was declared a false alarm with good intent, and the team was stood down.”