Glyder Fawr. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

Glyder Fawr. Photo: Philip Halling CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two groups of walkers were rescued in separate incidents after straying on to difficult ground on Snowdonia mountains.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation members responded to both incidents on Saturday. The team was also alerted to a walker who injured her ankle the following day.

Chris Lloyd of the team said he had finished showing two groups of Scouts round the organisation’s base when the first callout came about 2.30pm after four young walkers called for help from Glyder Fawr.

He said: “Three team members were deployed to search for the men who were probably somewhere between Idwal Buttress and Idwal Stream.

“As we started to climb up the footpath from the Idwal Slabs towards the Idwal Stream, the four were spotted. Once the low cloud had lifted, they could see the steep and loose descent route to the main footpath.

“They descended successfully to the path to be met by the recue party. After a debrief, the party of three returned to Oggi base.

“The four young men from London were suitably clad for the scramble from Cwm Idwal and up Seniors Ridge. However, with low cloud cover on Seniors Ridge, they lost the footpath and came to a vertical wall.

“They decided to move to the right but encountered more difficult. At one stage they met a couple of rock-climbers, who directed them to the steep loose scree slope.”

The team was called out again about 6pm the same day.

Mr Lloyd said: “A mixed party of six from Birmingham were cragfast on the main cliff of Glyder Fach.

“I was one of a party of four to be flown up to the crag. Fortunately, the cloud level had risen sufficiently to permit the helicopter to be able to winch four of us onto a grassy ledge about 20m above and to the West of the casualties.

“With some superb flying, the captain and her crew aboard the helicopter managed to hover very close to the rock face, so that we were placed onto the grass ledge. With the helicopter returning to Caernarfon, team members were able to set up simple rope systems to retrieve the four men and two women from the gully floor up to the grassy ledge.

“They then traversed the ledge, clipped to a safety line for about 75m to where it ran into the screes. The six were then escorted down to Llyn Bochlwyd and then down to Ogwen, leaving a party of two to de-rig the system and carry the two 100m ropes and the associated belay gear.

“The casualties were slow on the descent which allowed the remaining two rescuers to catch up with them. On a fine evening, the whole party slowly descended to a waiting team Land Rover, arriving shortly after 10pm. After a debrief at the car park, the six were sent on their way back to Birmingham and the four rescuers returned to base for mugs of tea and hot pizza and were home for before midnight.”

The team was in action again on Sunday when members were called out at 9am for a woman with a broken ankle on the north side of Moel Siabod while descending after camping out for the night.

Mr Lloyd said: “Cloud level was still low, but miraculously, the Coastguard helicopter crew were able to winch the casualty aboard.

“A team member who had gone directly to the casualty site walked the casualty’s colleague down off the hill. Meanwhile back at base and while awaiting instructions redeployment, two of us repacked kit from the previous evening’s call out.”

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