The walker was winched from Tryfan. Photo: Neil Cowburn CC-BY-ND-2.0

The walker was winched from Tryfan. Photo: Neil Cowburn CC-BY-ND-2.0

An injured man stranded on a Snowdonia mountain in freezing conditions was ‘very fortunate’ to have his shouts heard.

North Wales Police were alerted by several reports of cries for help from the West Face of Tryfan on Tuesday.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation said: “A police officer had been sent to try to confirm these reports as so often they are found to be from goats.

“The police officer met a man who had heard the shouts and had climbed up to where he could communicate with the stricken hillwalker.”

Mr Lloyd said the man had fallen into a gully on the mountain and was reported to have broken his ankle.

He said: “As three team members prepared to deploy on foot, the Marine and Coastguard Agency’s helicopter was able to fly in to the valley to try to get an exact location of the casualty.

“Fortunately for the lightly clothed and very lightly equipped man, he did have a torch which he used to attract the aircraft.

“The helicopter crew was able to winch the casualty and fly him to Oggi Base for medical attention and a warm-up. He was then delivered to hospital in Bangor by a team member.

“A very fortunate man to have had his shouts heard as he may not have survived such a cold night.”

In a second callout for the team on Tuesday evening, two men were reported to be disoriented on Y Garn. The Ogwen Valley team was alerted while the Tryfan rescue was underway.

Mr Lloyd said: “A party of three men from the Chester area had gone to climb the gullies on Y Garn.

“One of the men soloed up a couple of the gullies before returning to the car. The other two, who were novices to winter climbing, but very well equipped, had taken longer than planned.

“After topping out they sought the descent route down the North-East Ridge. Upon finding it and deciding that it was not suitable for them, they opted to return to the summit in very poor visibility. Not finding the summit, they decided to telephone for mountain rescue.

“A small hill party was deployed to climb Y Garn to try to locate the two. In the meantime, the helicopter, having delivered the first casualty to Oggi Base, managed to locate the two men on Y Garn.

“However, the strong downdraught kicked up clouds of freshly deposited snow.

“Eventually, the helicopter managed to winch the two men and deliver them to Oggi Base to be reunited with their colleague who had been brought to the base earlier in the evening. This incident was a result of limited experience, something one can only get from going out on the mountains.

“We all have to climb the learning curve.”

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