A rescue team member is winched at the site. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

A rescue team member is winched at the site. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

A man was airlifted to hospital after injuring himself in a fall on Tryfan.

The walker, from south-east England, was with his partner and eight-year-old son when he slipped and fell about 5m on the Snowdonia mountain.

Chris Lloyd of Ogwen Mountain Rescue Organisation was already on Tryfan when he received the alert on Saturday. He was investigating recent reports of an unstable boulder in a gully on the East Face when the incident happened.

He said: “Halfway up the gully, I received a standby: incident on Tryfan. Without additional information, I continued to where Little Gully joins North Gully.

“There I received the callout for a male with leg injury with partner and eight-year-old boy on the North Ridge and a good grid reference.

“This appeared to be about 100m above the footpath which passes below the Milestone Buttress en route to Piccadilly Circus and the North Ridge. Knowing that I was the only one of OVMRO in the area and on the hill, I made haste, cutting across to the Eastern Traverse and descending the North Ridge – not fun with greasy conditions underfoot.”

Mr Lloyd said the group had travelled to the area for a few days’ hillwalking and scrambling.

“All of the party were experienced and well equipped for the scramble up the North Ridge,” he said. “They had taken an ‘off piste’ line, from the footpath. On one of the numerous rocky steps, the man slipped and fell awkwardly down about 5m on to a small ledge.

“Unfortunately, he sustained severe soft tissue injury to his knee and was unable to weight bear on that leg. At about 11.15am they made the 999 call and requested mountain rescue. With a good grid reference placing the injured casualty on steep and craggy ground and with a minor in the group, the team leader requested the support of the MCA’s helicopter, Rescue 936, to assist.

The Coastguard helicopter at the rescue scene. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

The Coastguard helicopter at the rescue scene. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

“While one team member made his way down the mountain towards the casualty, the helicopter was able to fly in, the low cloud having lifted throughout the morning, and lower the winchman onto the small ledge next to the casualty.”

The helicopter crew also picked up two OVMRO members from its base, including a team doctor, and flew them up, winching them down to safe ground below the casualty site. They were able to help with safety and casualty care.

Mr Lloyd said: “After the administration of analgesia and splinting the injury, the helicopter returned to winch the casualty aboard and fly him directly to hospital at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

“The three MRT members guided the casualty’s partner and the eight-year-old boy from the mountain. They were taken to Oggi Base for a debrief, hot tea with Christmas cake and directions to the hospital.”

It was, he said: ‘a very unfortunate slip on the first day of their holiday’.

The callout was the team’s 130th of the year, and the 31st to Tryfan, which accounts for about a quarter of the Ogwen Valley volunteers’ incidents.

Mr Lloyd said: “Finally, we thank all of the people who have supported Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation throughout the year. They have donated monies, offered discounts, displayed collection boxes and given freely of their time: too many to mention but you know who you are and the valuable contribution that you make to support OVMRO.

“Blwyddyn Newydd Dda – Happy New Year – to all of you.”

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