The walker became cragfast on Crib Goch. Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

The walker became cragfast on Crib Goch. Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

A stranded walker was plucked from a ridge on the Snowdon massif by the crew of a rescue helicopter.

The Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter took little more than a minute to winch the young man from Crib Goch after finding a break in the clouds.

The man was cold but otherwise unharmed after his ordeal when he became cragfast on the knife-edge ridge. A Coastguard spokesperson said: “The walker was above the snow line and not properly equipped for the weather or the terrain.”

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team was alerted and a team co-ordinator sent a Sarloc link to the man’s smartphone, which enabled the rescuers to pinpoint his position on the eastern ridge.

A team spokesperson said: “The helicopter arrived and attempted to recover the man and three team members were sent down to our landing zone to wait for pick up just in case the helicopter was unable to get to the man.

“The casualty was just on the cloud level and the helicopter made several attempts to get in to him but was unable to.

“So it was re-tasked to pick up the three team members from the landing zone and drop them off on the mountain as high as possible. Just after picking up the team members a break in the cloud appeared above the man, giving the helicopter a chance to do a quick pick off of the casualty.

“The casualty was checked over in the back of the helicopter and found to be cold but otherwise OK, so the three mountain rescue members and casualty were all returned to the landing zone for dropping off.”

The Coastguard spokesperson said: “Despite the low cloud cover, the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Caernarfon managed to find a brief break in the cloud and flew in quickly to pick up the walker – in fact winching him up in a rescue effort that lasted barely over a minute.

“Remember to be prepared, think safety first and don’t put yourself in any unnecessary danger if venturing into the Welsh or Scottish mountains.

“You should also tell a friend or family of their intentions in case you should later require the services of mountain rescue experts and the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter service.

“UK mountains should not be underestimated as they can be unforgiving for even the most experienced. Severe weather conditions could mean a change your environment within minutes and navigation could become difficult.

“Whiteout snow conditions could also make paths and tracks dangerously impassable.”

The 1¾-hour rescue involved nine volunteers from Llanberis MRT.

The Coastguard released footage of the stranded man being winched from Crib Goch.

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