Crag-Fast Sheepdog near Cader Idris
May 21, 2021
Shortly after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday 20th May, call-handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of a crag-fast sheepdog near Cader Idris.
Working dog Tess became stuck on the walls of Tal y Llyn pass the previous day. The farmer had scrambled down the steep and slippery ground to within sight of the dog, but was prevented from reaching Tess by a vertical step in the crag wall. The dog remained stuck overnight, and after further unsuccessful attempts to reach her the following morning, the farmer requested assistance.
In deteriorating weather conditions, Team volunteers built a rope-rescue system on the crag top in order to lower a rescuer safely down the steep ground. Once over the vertical step the plan was to secure the dog and haul both rescuer and dog back up to safety.
Tess, it seemed, had other ideas. Cautious by nature, and not at all impressed by a night on the mountain followed by an influx of strangers, she took the offered food treats at distance, then ran off across the steep ground out of sight. Limited by the reach of the rope system, the rescuer was unable to follow, and with the target lost, he was hauled back to the top for a rethink.
Spotters were deployed along the crag top and on the opposite face of the pass and Tess was quickly located, back close to her original position. The process was repeated, this time with the lowering of two rescuers to increase the chance of getting hold of her. As the pair were just approaching the bottom of the vertical step, Tess was spotted on the steep ground above them. She clearly had had enough of this game and had found a way to climb around the step. She was quickly grabbed by the farmer, and the rescuers, farmer and dog were assisted back to flatter ground.Everyone was safely of the hill by 3:30 p.m.
Graham O’Hanlon attended the rescue. “We rely heavily on the cooperation of our farming community in our rescue work, so it is always nice to be able to help them out when they need it. Tess might not have been too impressed by our efforts, but her owner was certainly grateful to have her back.”