Two Call-Outs on Cader Idris
October 28, 2021
On Tuesday 26th and Wed 27th October, Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team had callouts in virtually identical weather conditions to locations a few hundred meters apart on Cader Idris.
On Tuesday, the Team was made aware of a group lost on the mountain. The party, a father and 9 year old son, along with their 8 month old dog, had been attempting to reach the summit of Cader Idris, but had turned back because of the extremely poor weather conditions. However, whilst retracing their steps they missed the route down off the mountain and found themselves lost in low cloud and high wind amongst the scree and boulder-fields on the slopes of Cyfrwy. Realising the difficulty they were in, and their proximity to the cliff faces, they called for assistance.
With an approximate location determined from the initial request for help, a small party of Team volunteers made their way into the area and quickly located the party, aided greatly by the barking of the dog. A little shaken by the experience but otherwise uninjured, the group was given some food and extra clothing before being walked down off the mountain.
Everyone was safely off the hill by 6:15 p.m.
Shortly before midday on Wednesday call-handlers from the Team were made aware of a man with an injured ankle in a similar location.
The solo man, in his 50’s, had lost footing in the high wind and poor visibility and had sustained a suspected broken ankle. In an exposed position high on the mountain, he also began to get very cold. Passing walkers provided clothing and shelter as the Team initiated its response.
A hasty party was deployed to quickly locate and stabilise the casualty, while a second wave of volunteers gathered the heavier equipment to deal with the evacuation. Although the casualty was well into cloud, the level of the cloud-base meant that the Team was able to make use of Coastguard helicopter Rescue 936 to lift people and equipment part-way up the mountain and so speed up the rescue considerably.
The casualty was treated for his injury, and insulated as much as possible before being stretched down the slope to the helicopter drop-off position. Rescue 936 was then able to uplift the injured man and transport to Ybyty Gwynedd for further assessment and treatment. The man’s dog, also cold and anxious because of the ordeal, was carried down off the mountain by one of the walkers who initially attended the casualty. She was handed over to injured man’s son at Ty Nant car-park.
Everyone was safely off the hill by 5:00 p.m.
Team volunteer Graham O’Hanlon was involved in both rescues. “the mountain can be enjoyed in a variety of different conditions, but poor weather, such as the high winds and low cloud of the last few days, increases the demand on good navigation and equipment, increases the chance of a simple slip or trip, and also increases the consequences of a long wait in an exposed position. We always encourage walkers to check a forecast before heading to the mountains, and to make sure their experience, equipment and emergency provision is up to the conditions expected.”