Moel Siabod, Snowdonia. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Moel Siabod, Snowdonia. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A mountain rescue team described as a ‘total waste of time’ a callout to a young woman who rang for help from a Snowdonia mountain.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation’s volunteers went to the incident on Saturday and a Coastguard helicopter also flew to the scene on Moel Siabod.

The callout came during a busy weekend for Snowdonia’s rescuers, during which Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team was called to aid two injured people on Crib Goch on Snowdon in separate incidents.

The Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter crew winched both casualties from the mountain and flew them to hospital in Bangor before making their way to the Nantlle Ridge where Aberglaslyn MRT was tending to a hillwalker who had suffered serious head injuries in a fall.

The walker was flown to the major trauma centre at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

The St Athan Coastguard helicopter also flew up from south Wales to aid Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team, which had gone to the aid of two runners injured on Cadair Idris in separate incidents.

Ogwen Valley MRO was alerted to the Moel Siabod incident shortly before 5pm.

Chris Lloyd of the team said a young couple had ascended the mountain south-west of Capel Curig on a fine summer day.

He said: “On their descent, the young woman twisted her knee. As she didn’t want to risk aggravating the injury, she sat down and her partner telephoned North Wales Police for mountain rescue.

“The Ogwen team leader was contacted. He telephoned the informant to try to establish where they were and the extent on the injury. The team leader explained that as the helicopter was busy with other calls, it was unlikely it would be available for over an hour, therefore team members would walk up with a stretcher.

“I believe that the man demanded to know why they could not be rescued sooner by helicopter.

“As team members left their Land Rovers high up on the east slopes of the mountain, the MCA’s Rescue 936 helicopter arrived over the summit. With some careful flying, the crew were able to winch the couple aboard and fly them down to Oggi Base.

“I am unsure of the magic potion used by the winchman because the woman was able to jump down off the aircraft and walk the 100m to Oggi Base without signs of injury.

“The couple, dressed only in shorts and t-shirts, one in gym shoes, the other in trainers, were not carrying any rucksack or bags at all.

“They had no map, no spare clothing to protect them from the cooling breeze on the tops, no spare food or drink and no idea.

“This was a total waste of time for the volunteers of the mountain rescue team, who had their Saturday evening plans interrupted for no good reason and the crew of the helicopter who already had a demanding day with multiple incidents.

“Team leaders have to depend upon the information provided by the informant and act accordingly. There was no apparent reason why this couple could not have walked off Moel Siabod, though they did not know where they were; they had no drink or food; they had no spare clothing for the increasing cool breeze on the tops and, should the descent have taken some time, they had no torch.

“The team leader strongly advised the couple of his feelings.”

The crew of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter was also in action on Sunday.

Early in the morning they recovered the body of an angler who had fallen from the cliffs of the Great Orme, near Llandudno into the sea.

Soon afterwards they received a call to a fallen rock-climber with very serious head injuries on Dinas Cromlech in Llanberis Pass. The casualty was flown directly to Stoke-on-Trent.

On their return, they airlifted a woman with a suspected broken ankle from the slopes of Cnicht, north-east of Porthmadog.

Mr Lloyd added: “The recent lovely weather has come at a cost.”

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