The walkers got lost after losing their map on Cadair Idris. Photo: NotFromUtrecht CC-BY-SA-3.0

The walkers got lost after losing their map on Cadair Idris. Photo: NotFromUtrecht CC-BY-SA-3.0

Rescuers used phone technology to help guide two lost walkers from a Snowdonia mountain.

Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team put the PhoneFind system into operation during the incident on Saturday, minimising the number of its volunteers needed on the hill.

The team said the protocol, which uses the casualty’s mobile phone to pinpoint their location, enabled the two women to be directed to safety on Cadair Idris, and rendezvous with rescuers.

The team was alerted shortly after 8pm when the pair, in their early 20s and from the Midlands, called for help. The walkers had set off from Minffordd but lost their map on the summit plateau, resulting in their taking a wrong turning and ending up descending the Fox’s Path.

An Aberdyfi SRT spokesperson said: “The PhoneFind protocol was used to locate the pair via their smartphone, and verbal description was given to get them onto the main Fox’s Path.

“They were encouraged to keep clicking the link to help call handlers monitor their progress while a couple of team volunteers climbed up from Gwernan Lake Hotel to meet them and escort them down.

“High water levels in the Llyn Gafr outflow and other streams pushed the walkers off course just as they were about to meet with the rescuers heading up hill. Fortunately, the updated PhoneFind location alerted handlers to this issue and a texted request to hold position was sent as the rescuers were directed to locate them.”

Team volunteer Graham O’Hanlon, who was involved in the rescue, said: “As part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we try to deploy the smallest team with which we can achieve the rescue.

“The situation was greatly assisted by use of the PhoneFind protocol, which enabled us to monitor progress remotely, and keep rescuer numbers to the minimum. It also enabled us to act quickly when the situation changed.

“The rescue would have become significantly more complex had the parties missed each other on the hill.”

The incident ended about 10pm.

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