The man tumbled 300ft on Tryfan. Photo: Neil Cowburn CC-BY-ND-2.0

The man tumbled 300ft on Tryfan. Photo: Neil Cowburn CC-BY-ND-2.0

A walker was airlifted from a Snowdonia mountain after tumbling 300ft when he slipped on snow and ice.

The man, in his mid-20s, suffered serious injuries in the incident on Tryfan.

A Coastguard helicopter had to retreat at one point during the rescue operation because its rotor blades were whipping up snow, making the rescue operation too dangerous.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted by three separate calls about 5pm on Sunday.

Chris Lloyd of the rescue team said: “One came indirectly as a highways grit lorry had been flagged down by someone reporting screams for help heard on Tryfan. Another was from someone in Cwm Idwal who heard shouts.”

The team requested help from RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Team, whose members were training in the area.

Mr Lloyd said: “The casualty was located on the lower slopes of the West Face of Tryfan. He had been walking up Tryfan with a young woman and his father. They had come to a point which they could not scramble up due to the snow and ice, so sought to find the way down.

“During this descent, the man slipped on the fresh snow and took a tumbling fall of a reported 80m to 100m. He suffered serious injuries though was conscious.” The group of walkers were near the Wrinkle Slab when the man fell.

The Ogwen Valley team requested the help of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter whose pilot flew to the site. Mr Lloyd said: “He flew directly to the casualty but the downwash of the rotors whipped up a snowstorm of fresh snow preventing a safe operation.

“The helicopter returned to Caernarfon while the stretcher party moved the casualty to more open ground. Once again, the helicopter flew in and this time was able to successfully winch the casualty and fly him to hospital in Bangor before 9pm.”

The team thanked climbers who were in the area and who aided the walker and stabilised him before they reached the site.

Mr Lloyd added: “Fortunately, this was the only call for the Ogwen MRT over the weekend as people seem to have taken heed of the weather warnings which had been widely broadcast.”

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