The walker fell on the North Tower on the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The walker fell on the North Tower on the North Ridge of Tryfan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The busy period for a rescue team in Snowdonia continues, with callouts to an injured mountain biker and a fallen walker on a scrambling route.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation was alerted at 12.35pm on Saturday when a 60-year-old rider crashed in the northern Carneddau.

The mountain biker was with four others from Cheshire, riding on the Llyn Anafon track, and suffered head, face and arm injuries, along with a serious open wound to the shin in the incident.

Four Ogwen Valley team members made their way to the scene. Chris Lloyd from the team said: “They could drive 3km along the good mountain track directly to the casualty site. In addition, a request was made for the Coastguard’s helicopter to assist with the casualty evacuation.

“Despite low cloud cover, the helicopter was able to land about 250m from the casualty. The winchman and one Ogwen mountain rescue casualty carer treated the casualty, who was then placed in a vacuum mattress on a stretcher, then into one Land Rover, to be driven the 250m up the track to the waiting S92 helicopter.

“With the casualty on board, the helicopter took off for Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor.

“The crashed bicycle was placed in a Land Rover and the cyclists continued their descent of the track.”

Just over half an hour after the callout, the team’s help was requested for a 19-year-old walker injured on Tryfan, while tackling the North Ridge with his father. Both were from the Home Counties.

The son suffered serious injuries, and was also concussed when he fell while ascending the North Tower.

Mr Lloyd said: “The calm moist air and low cloud had made the rocks greasy – not unusual. The young man slipped and fell an unknown distance from the steep North Tower.

“He suffered severe facial and head injuries and was at risk of other trauma due to the nature of his fall. He had also been knocked out for a short time.”

Four team members were already committed to the earlier callout. A team member was on Tryfan and made his way to the site to begin caring for the man. A request was made for a helicopter from the Coastguard.

Mr Lloyd said: “As the Caernarfon-based helicopter was at the mountain biker incident, an aircraft was deployed from south Wales. It was able to fly up to the varying cloudbase to deploy the winchman and then in two uplifts, six mountain rescue team members, including the team doctor.

“They scrambled up the North Ridge to the incident site. With the falling cloud level, plans were made to lower the casualty to a place where the helicopter could winch him directly. A further four team members were lifted and winched onto the mountain, but at a much lower level due to the cloud.

“After a refuel visit to Caernarfon Airport, the helicopter was able to benefit from a ‘hole in the cloud’ to winch the casualty and fly him to Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor.”

The man’s father walked down with rescuers to the team’s base at the foot of Tryfan. After some refreshments, he drove to the hospital, Mr Lloyd said.

“A busy few days for incidents involving falls and serious injuries,” he added. “Thankfully, all the casualties have benefitted from the excellent service and skills of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter crews who have deployed mountain rescue team members onto the mountains and to recover the injured casualties to hospital.”

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