In the news

Walker missing for 5 hours during Welsh 3 Peaks challenge

August 24, 2020

At around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday 22nd August, call handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of a walker stranded at the summit of Cader Idris.

The 59 year old man from South Wales was part of a group of 4 attempting the Welsh 3-Peaks challenge for charity by climbing Snowdon, Cader Idris and Pen y fan in a day. The man had become separated from his group earlier in the day and finding himself at the summit shelter in very poor weather, was unable to find the path down.

After his friends raised the alarm at the foot of the mountain, a small party of Team volunteers was dispatched to the summit to recover the man. Having been missing for some 5 hours before the alarm was raised, and dressed in shorts, t-shirt and a light jacket, with no extra equipment, food or water, the man was cold and hungry when reached. After being provided with adequate clothing and warm drinks, he was escorted down off the mountain and was reunited with friends shortly after 1:00 a.m.

“These types of charity challenge can sometimes result in an extra burden for rescue services across Britain” said Team spokesperson Graham O’Hanlon. “Whilst many are well organised and go off without incident, this is sadly not always the case. The very nature of such a challenge is that it can draw in people with little or no experience, and the pressures of a time-limited process can quickly lead to groups becoming spread out on the mountain, with the least fit or experienced being lost off the back. If ‘someone else is in charge of navigation’ then this fragmentation can lead to problems quickly. Additionally, busy diaries, complex transport arrangements, sponsorship and social media announcements can all add pressures that make it feel increasingly difficult to abandon or reschedule the attempt when all the evidence suggests that this would be the best course of action.”

“The very poor weather over the weekend was clearly forecast many days in advance, and should perhaps have served as a warning to at least review the skills and equipment of the group before deciding whether or not to proceed.”

“As a charity ourselves, we fully understand that fundraisers are the lifeblood of such organisations, but would ask people try to ensure that fundraising for one charity is not done at the expense, in terms of time and resources, of another.”

“As ever, we encourage people to check the weather before heading to the mountains, and to ensure that the skills of the group and the equipment carried are suitable for the proposed task.”