Coroner names Snowdon death brothers

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Two brothers who fell to their deaths climbing a treacherous part of Mount Snowdon were formally identified by a coroner today.

Christopher McCallion, 29, and brother James, 35, are understood to have been training for endurance events when they fell as far as 1,000ft in freezing conditions.

They were discovered yesterday morning, having fallen from the notorious blackspot on the mountain's west side at Clogwyn Coch.

Inquests into their deaths were opened and adjourned today by Caernarfon coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones. A date for the hearing has yet to be fixed.

North Wales police said today that family tributes to Christopher, of Severn Beach, Bristol, and James, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset would be released later today or tomorrow.

Christopher McCallion's wife, Katie-Ann, gave birth to their son James Jnr - named after his uncle - last September.

The triathlete had competed in Iron Man events and is believed to have been on the mountain to train with his brother for future challenges.

Their families reported them missing at 9pm on Sunday when they failed to return home to Bristol.

Volunteers from the Llanberis and Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue teams joined forces with North Wales Police and the RAF Squadron 22 to mount a search operation.

It was thought the pair were crossing the treacherous stretch without ice axes or climbing crampons as the weather changed for the worse.

Ian Henderson, secretary of Llanberis Mountain Rescue team, said yesterday: "The men went on the hill on Saturday and camped overnight but we don't know where.

"Presumably they've gone to Snowdon on Sunday. We have no definite information about what happened.

"But they have fallen in what is considered to be a known accident blackspot because of the snow and ice forming across the slope.

"Anyone who hasn't got ice axes or isn't wearing crampons is at a great risk.

"Strong winds gather speed and around that part there's a substantial craggy area.

"This is a great tragedy and our condolences go to the family.

"At the moment there is snow and ice on the ground, it's clear and quite bright but more snow is forecast.

"I would strongly recommend that people without a lot of experience and the right equipment don't venture on to the mountain.

"If people are at all unsure, they should stay away. More heavy snow is forecast on the mountain."

Two Cheshire men, aged 20, were also rescued from Crib Goch on Snowdon, by being airlifted to safety.