Rescuers at the site on the east face of Tryfan. Photo: OVMRO

Rescuers at the site on the east face of Tryfan. Photo: OVMRO

An injured walker was rescued from Tryfan in Snowdonia in an operation lasting almost eight hours.

North Wales Police alerted Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation to the incident about 1.30pm on Sunday.

The man, in his late 30s and from Greater Manchester, was walking on the mountain when he slipped on wet, greasy rocks, injuring his leg. The walker’s sister, who was not with him, alerted emergency services.

Chris Lloyd of the Ogwen Valley team said attempts by the team leader to contact the man directly were thwarted as he was in a long telephone conversation with his sister.

“The What3words given gave a location on the South Ridge of Tryfan but mountain rescue’s preferred PhoneFind placed him at the foot of South Gully on Heather Terrace. It was established that he had fallen and possibly dislocated his knee. He was lightly dressed without warm clothing or waterproofs and dressed in black.”

Rescuers requested help from the Coastguard helicopter based at Caernarfon, and the aircraft arrived soon afterwards, with the crew intending to search for the injured walker.

Mr Lloyd said: “Lowering cloud levels and turbulence prevented this, so three groups of four team members were flown up onto the mountain and dropped off below cloud level.

“The first two groups split, one to search the South Ridge and one to search Heather Terrace and South Gully. A successful find was made at the bottom of South Gully. Here the two team doctors examined and treated the casualty.

“He had fallen several metres down the last rocky slabs of the gully and sustained minor head injuries, possible broken ribs and one or more broken femurs – thigh bones.

“He was very cold and wet and in shock due to his injuries. He was wrapped in a Blizzard foil blanket, given analgesia and splinted. He was then placed in a rigid vacuum mattress and secured into a stretcher.”

In the meantime, team members built a twin-rope lowering system to enable the stretcher and two team members to be lowered 350m (1,000ft.) down the precipices and loose screes in the gully below Heather Terrace and to Cwm Tryfan.

The team hoped weather conditions might allow the Coastguard helicopter to return and make a quick snatch of the casualty. “Alas the weather deteriorated with low cloud, heavy squally showers and strong winds,” Mr Lloyd said.

“The casualty would have to be carried to the A5 road. Further team members were called upon and in addition members of the RAF Mountain Rescue based at RAF Valley.

“The long and wet carry arrived at the road ambulance at about 9.30pm, nearly eight hours after the initial call from the casualty’s sister.

“The 16 Ogwen and seven RAF rescue team members gathered at Oggi Base for hot drinks, a sort out of kit and a debrief before departing for home.”

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