Volunteers from Aberdyfi assisted Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team, along with members from each of the North Wales MRTs and RAF MRT, in the search for, and recovery of a walker reported missing on Tryfan.
At around 6:45 p.m. The Team was made aware of a woman lost on a walk between Llwyngwril & Llanegryn.
In an attempt to locate her, Team call-handlers sent a SARLOC message to the woman's phone and attempted to ring both the woman and her husband. Both numbers rang-out without being answered or going to answerphone, and there was no response to the SARLOC message.
North Wales Police (NWP) were re-contacted to update them about the situation, and to recheck the given phone numbers. During this conversation, another NWP operator received a call to inform that the woman had found a farm, and the husband was on his way to collect her. The Team was stood down by NWP.
At around 4:30 p.m., Call Handlers from Aberdyfi Search & Rescue Team were made aware of a couple lost on Cader Idris
The couple, both from Cannock and in their 20's, had started their trip at the Minffordd car-park and summited the mountain earlier in the day. When making their return they became disorientated and descended the the wrong side of the mountain. Trying to correct their mistake, they quickly found themselves in marshy heathland, but fortunately, just as darkness fell, they found themselves with a good mobile signal and called for help.
The position of the walkers was established using the SARLOC protocol, a process that enabled their smartphone to send locational information directly to our Team computer. With help from the Farmer at Maes Coch farm, team volunteers were quickly on scene and the pair, cold but unharmed, were walked off the mountain and returned to their car.
All were safely off the mountain by 7:30 p.m.
At around 4:45 p.m., call-handlers from the Team were requested to assist the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust in reaching a man with a suspected broken leg on Cader Idris.
The 67 year old man was part of a group of plane spotters making use of the popular "Mach-Loop" vantage points above the Tal y Llyn pass. In muddy conditions he had slipped and fallen a short distance, sustaining a suspected broken femur. Team volunteers assisted the WAST crew with treatment and preparation for extraction from the hill side, and given the potentially serious nature of the injury, the Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue936, was deployed to transfer the man to Ysbyty Gwynedd for further hospital based treatment.
At around 5:20 p.m. Team call-handlers were made aware of an injured walker on the hills above Cregennen Lakes near Dolgellau.
The 46 year old man, part of an Outdoor Education Centre group, had dislocated his shoulder in a trip on the steep ground of Pared y Cefn hir. Team volunteers were quickly on scene to help with management of the casualty, and given the man's pain levels, along with the difficulty of the terrain and rapidly failing light, it was decided to request assistance from the Coastguard Helicopter R936.
At around 7:30 p.m. the man was winched aboard R936 and flown to Ysbyty Gwynedd at Bangor for further assessment and treatment. The remaining centre group members, all uninjured, were assisted down off the hill by Team volunteers and centre staff.
At around 12:45 p.m. the Team was called to assist a walker with an ankle injury at Dolgoch Falls near Tywyn.
The walker, a 71 year old man, had slipped and injured his ankle whilst out with a family group at the popular attraction. His location, some distance up the valley, meant that the ambulance service was unable to access his location.
After initial examination and treatment, Team volunteers loaded the man onto a stretcher and transported him off the mountain, from where family members were able to drive him to hospital for further examination and treatment.
Everyone was off the hill by 3:00 p.m.
At around 4:20 p.m., call handlers from the Team were made aware of a woman with an ankle injury on Cader Idris.
Call handlers spoke to the partner of the 51 year old woman, who was with her on the hill, and obtained a fairly specific description of the path they were on and distances from a key feature. This differed slightly from the description provided to North Wales Police, but not greatly so.
As the first volunteers from the team were making their way up the hill to the casualty site, they encountered a walker coming down off the mountain who said he had recently passed the pair on a completely different part of the mountain. Whilst Team members followed up this new report, others continued searching the originally reported area to no avail.
Eventually, the injured woman and partner were located at the position described by the walker, high on the slopes on Mynydd Moel, on a different path, more than a kilometer away and more than 350m higher than the position given.
Given the elevated position and encroaching nightfall, the coastguard helicopter, Rescue936 was requested, and the lady was evacuated by air to Ysbwty Gwynedd for further assessment and treatment. Everyone was safely off the hill by 8:30 p.m.
Team volunteer Graham O'Hanlon attended the rescue. "Without the chance encounter with the walker, and having had such a specific first-hand description of location, we would have expended a great deal of effort combing the first area. The operation would have eventually expanded, but it would have been some time before we started searching areas that far removed from the described point."
At around 7:30 p.m. the Team was made aware of two walkers lost on Cader Idris
The husband and wife, both in their 20's and from Suffolk, had climbed the mountain via the Minffordd path. Having reached the summit and started their descent, they had become lost in the low cloud and drizzle, and their predicament was further compounded as darkness fell. Neither had clothing or equipment suitable for the mountain environment or the forecast weather conditions.
As rescue volunteers made their way up both sides of the mountain, Team call-handlers were able to make use of the SARLOC smartphone protocol to get a location for the pair, and this information was confirmed when the pair came across one of the national park grid-reference discs placed on fences and stiles around the mountain. With this information to hand, rescuers were directed to the cold, wet but otherwise uninjured pair, and having been dressed in warm dry clothing, they were escorted down off the mountain. Everyone was safely back at vehicles by 11:00 p.m.
Just before 9:00 p.m. the Team was requested to assist North East Wales Search & Rescue Team in the rescue of two injured teenagers to the east of Bala.
The two women were part of a group of 6 taking part in a Duke of Edinburgh expedition, and all were sheltered in a tent. The group had been visited by their DoE supervisor earlier in the evening who identified the need for a rescue and raised the alarm.
Parties of rescue volunteers were deployed onto the hill, but it was soon apparent that the casualties were not at the location given in the initial request for help. In poor visibility and with very difficult ground conditions an area search was undertaken, and at 12:40 a.m. the party was eventually located almost a kilometer away.
The two casualties were assessed by casualty carers at the scene. One woman, with an injured ankle, was carried from the scene by stretcher whilst the other, with a twisted knee was able to walk off with some assistance. The entire party was evacuated from their campsite and back to awaiting vehicles, making it back to be with their Leaders by 3:40 a.m.
At around 6:00 a.m., Team call-handlers were contacted by North Wales Police with regard to missing person.
The man, a 30 year old French tourist, had been missing since Sunday when he failed to return to his hotel in Bala, and ongoing NWP investigations had led to the discovery of his car in the Minffordd car-park, a popular trail-head for Cader Idris.
With an extensive search area to cover, and with bad weather forecast for later in the day, the team requested and received assistance from the Coastguard helicopter, R936, from our neighbouring team South Snowdonia Search & Rescue and from Search and Rescue Dogs (SARDA Wales) Izzy, Izzy and Spin.
With teams deployed on foot and in the air, "finds" of lost equipment on the mountain proved inconclusive or unrelated. Finally Search Dog Izzy, a trailing-dog trained to pick up the specific scent of a missing person, indicated that the had found scent, giving the first good evidence that the man was on the mountain, and an indication which path he had taken.
With this evidence, along with information gathered relating to mobile phone mast data, the search area was narrowed and,just before 1.00 p.m., Rescue936 reported that they had sighted a body on steep craggy ground above llyn Cau.
A party of Team volunteers was winched onto the crag, and discovered that the man had not survived his ordeal. In difficult conditions of terrain, and as other parties of volunteers waited nearby in case the deteriorating weather meant R936 was unable to operate, Team members loaded the man onto a stretcher. With the weather closing-in fast he was then winched into R936 and lifted down off the mountain. The helicopter then returned to lift the stretcher-party off the crag.
All were down off the mountain by 5:30 p.m.