The women became cragfast on the screes left of centre after moving off the arete to the right. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

The women became cragfast on the screes left of centre after moving off the arete to the right. Photo: Ogwen Valley MRO

Two young women were rescued from a north Wales coastal scramble route after getting stuck while hunting Easter eggs.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted to the plight of the pair about 4.40pm on Thursday.

The two women became cragfast on the headland at Penmaen-bach overlooking the village of Dwgyfylchi, west of Conwy. They believed there were still eggs remaining on the ridge after a recent Easter egg hunt.

Chris Lloyd of the team said: “The two had started to scramble up an arête but decided to move to the scree slope adjacent, thinking it might be safer. At the top was a barrier of gorse which they could not penetrate.

“They lost confidence to descend the 75m or so down a loose scree so made the 999 call. Three local team members ascended the loose scree and gave each girl a harness and a short length of confidence rope.

“The two girls descended the scree slope, each attached to a team member, while the third team member was route finding. The two girls, who are hillwalkers, were embarrassed that they had found themselves in that predicament. They were re-assured that we can all lose confidence at times.”

The rescue was the latest for the team after a relatively quiet Easter period for its volunteers.

Mr Lloyd said: “The weather for the Easter weekend was glorious and hundreds of people filled the Ogwen Valley and surrounding mountains.

“At times, there were so many cars parked on both sides of the A5 road, east and west of Ogwen Cottage, that traffic flow was restricted to a single lane. This did present delays to mountain rescue team members trying to reach Oggi Base and the team Land Rovers deploying personnel.

“Despite the large numbers of people enjoying the hills, fortunately there was only one callout for Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue over the holiday weekend.”

Two hillwalkers from the East Midlands had started descending the top of the Gribin Ridge after enjoying the scramble up the North Ridge of Tryfan on Easter Saturday, followed by the ascent of the Bristly Ridge on to Glyder Fach, passing the Cantilever Stone and Castell y Gwynt.

Mr Lloyd said: “Shortly after commencing the descent down the steep loose boulder field, the man, in his mid-50s, slipped and took a tumbling fall of up to 30m (100 ft). His partner was ahead of him and did not witness the fall.

“However, another couple following did see the fall and made the 999 call straight away. As one of this couple was a medical doctor, casualty care could be given quickly. OVMRO was alerted shortly after 4pm. With the knowledge of a tumbling fall and the distance from the road, a Coastguard helicopter was requested. Meanwhile, a stretcher party was deployed to ascend the Gribin Ridge.

“The S-92 helicopter [from Caernarfon] was unavailable as it was deployed for operations in England. Fortunately, the AgustaWestland 189 from Saint Athan in south Wales became available and was deployed.

“The helicopter was able to lower the winchman to the casualty. Meanwhile, the stretcher party continued uphill to arrive a few minutes later. The casualty was winched aboard and flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd [in Bangor]. His partner walked down with team members.

“After refreshments and a rest at Oggi Base, she drove herself to Bangor that evening. The casualty’s injuries fortunately are limited to cuts and bruises with no bone injuries reported.

“An unfortunate slip but fortunate outcome.”

One of the incidents happened near the Canon Rock on Tryfan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

One of the incidents happened near the Canon Rock on Tryfan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

On Tuesday evening, a woman, who had nearly completed her family holiday walk around Llyn Geirionydd, in the Gwydyr Forest west of Llanrwst, slipped while trying to avoid a puddle. Mr Lloyd said: “This resulted in a fracture dislocation of her ankle, a very painful injury.”

The team was called out shortly before 6pm.

The casualty was on the path not more than 50m from the forestry road. Local team members were quickly on scene but had to await strong analgesia which had to be brought from the Ogwen Valley. “Once this arrived, the paramedic on the mountain rescue team was able to realign and splint the limb,” Mr Lloyd said.

“She was then placed on a stretcher and carried to the MRT Land Rover. As no road ambulances were available, the team took the casualty to Ysbyty Gwynedd and delivered her to the forever busy emergency department for about 8.30pm.”

The following day, with a change in the weather, the team was alerted to an incident on the North Ridge of Tryfan. Mr Lloyd said: “An experienced father and daughter, from Yorkshire, were taking a late afternoon scramble.

“In the area of the Canon Rock, the 71-year-old man slipped on a steep scramble and fell about 5m (16ft). He suffered facial and head injuries and also complained of pain to his back and ribs.

“Due to poor telecommunications in this spot, the exact location of the casualty could not be readily identified. Three rescue parties were deployed onto the North Ridge. Due to the low cloud, the Coastguard helicopter was unable to assist in the search.

“Once the casualty had been located, assessed and treated by team members, the aircraft was able to sneak in just on the cloud base to deploy the winchman. While the casualty was checked and loaded on to the stretcher, the cloud level did drop but fortunately a brief opportunity was grabbed by the pilot for the helicopter to be able to winch the casualty from the mountain at about 8pm.”

The man’s daughter and a dozen team members returned to the team base for a warm up, to dry off, and enjoy tea, soup and pizza. Later, the casualty’s daughter drove herself to the hospital to check on her father.

“Again, a very unfortunate slip by a very experienced hillwalker,” Mr Lloyd said. “Hopefully, his injuries are superficial and he will be able to get back to the hills soon.”

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