Snowdon avalanche prompts huge rescue effort for missing climber with broken leg

Victim saved as conditions deteriorated on Wales’ tallest mountain

Toyin Owoseje
Wednesday 30 January 2019 16:51
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Snowdon avalanche prompts huge rescue effort for missing climber

An injured climber was rescued during a seven-hour operation after falling down a gully during an avalanche on Wales' highest peak.

The man was amongst a team of climbers caught in the snowslide on Snowdon and had suffered a broken leg.

Volunteers from Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, an RAF rescue team and the coastguard launched a successful rescue operation after the group became trapped in the mountain’s Right Hand Trinity gully after fresh snow fell on Tuesday afternoon.

The rescue mission initially proved difficult as mountain rescuers faced fading light, deteriorating weather and the risk of further avalanches.

Llanberis rescue team said: “With the assistance of RAF Mountain Rescue Valley and Maritime and Coastguard Agency R936 we were able to recover the party off the mountain.

”More snow is forecast and the temperature is set to remain cold. Consolidation is unlikely in the next few days. Enjoy the snow, make good decisions!“

The incident followed a Met Office alert about the increased risk of avalanches on the mountain.

Forecasters also issued yellow warnings for snow and ice for Wales between 1pm on Thursday and 9pm on Friday as parts of north, mid, and west Wales have been affected by the wintry conditions.

Climbers have since been advised to take extra warm clothing, crampons and ice axes if routes to the summit of the mountain are covered in ice or snow.

They have also been warned against relying on electronic mapping or phones for navigation.

“Batteries don’t like the cold so you should consider carrying spares and not rely too heavily on electronic mapping or phone as your only method of navigation,” the Llanberis rescue team added.

“Low-tech is good so carry a compass and paper map and have the knowledge of how to use them. “

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