Rescuers await the arrival of the helicopter on the Foxes Path. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

Rescuers await the arrival of the helicopter on the Foxes Path. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

Two teens were airlifted from a Snowdonia mountain in conditions rescuers described as ‘very challenging’.

Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team was called out on Wednesday when a 16-year-old girl collapsed on Cadair Idris.

The team was alerted shortly before 2pm to aid the teenager who was with a large outdoor education centre group walking on the Foxes Path on the mountain.

A team spokesperson said: “She had taken a small tumble on the loose and steep ground and was badly shaken but appeared otherwise unhurt.

“A number of other factors then came into play, which likely included the poor weather and physical location of the incident, and the casualty started to deteriorate and lose consciousness. A second 16-year-old female from the same group also started to deteriorate and display signs of hypothermia.

“Mountain rescue volunteers arrived on scene to stabilise the situation, and to co-ordinate the response of the Coastguard helicopter R936.

“Despite thick mist and driving rain, the aircraft was able to find a way in under the cloudbase and in separate actions winched both girls aboard. The two casualties were flown to Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, for further assessment and treatment.”

The team expressed its gratitude to the crew of the Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter. The spokesperson said the crew undertook exceptional work in very challenging conditions. The team also thanked colleagues from the South Snowdonia Search and Rescue Team who helped in this rescue.

Aberdyfi team leader Chris Dunn said: “This was a good example of the seamless inter-team and inter-agency working as the requirements of the incident escalated. This is what we plan and train for.”

The rest of the group were helped off the hill, and everyone was back at their vehicles by 7pm.

While the rescuers were dealing with the two teenagers, they were alerted to a pair of walkers lost on the same mountain. The spokesperson said: “The pair, both soaked to the skin, were attempting to navigate the mountain using Google Maps but were unable to find a way through steep ground and called for help.

“A team call-handler was able to pinpoint their location using a PhoneFind protocol to quiz their smartphone, and was able to give verbal directions using map features to guide them back onto the correct route.”

Team member Graham O’Hanlon said: “We encourage people to enjoy the mountains safely and responsibly.

“This involves individuals ensuring that they have the correct clothing for the prevailing weather and the right skill and equipment to find their way.

“As a resource for the mountains, Google Maps just doesn’t contain enough information about the terrain to be of use when things go wrong. The use of a map and compass would have made this incident far less likely, and we were fortunate not to have to divert personnel from the serious incident unfolding a short distance higher up the mountain for what was a largely avoidable situation.”

The team had to deal with a similar situation on Thursday when a couple phoned for help about 4.40pm after getting lost on Cadair Idris.

The spokesperson said: “In a replay of yesterday’s lost walkers, the couple were located using the PhoneFind protocol and were directed verbally to features on the mountain that they could follow to safety.”

Mr O’Hanlon said: “There is great information about keeping safe while being active in the outdoors at the Adventure Smart Wales site.

Rescuers with the injured cyclist and the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

Rescuers with the injured cyclist and the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Aberdyfi SRT

The Aberdyfi team volunteers were also called shortly after 3pm on Thursday to the aid of an injured cyclist.

The spokesperson said: “The man, in his early 40s and from Kent, had lost control of his bike on a steep and slippery section of road above Arthog, near Dolgellau, and he had hit the adjacent drystone wall injuring his chest and back.

“Team volunteers helped transport the man by stretcher into a nearby field where he was picked up by Coastguard R187 and flown to Bronglais hospital for further assessment and treatment.”

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