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Lost walker rescued in dramatic Welsh valley weekend

Posted 5 November 2012
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Lost walker rescued in dramatic Welsh valley weekend
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The Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue team is used to being busy, operating in a location full of steep and craggy mountains over 3,000 ft in in height, many of which are renowned for their scrambling and climbing.

With the days getting darker and winter coming, this figure may rise significantly and the weekend just passed (November 3rd and 4th) was a particularly notable one, with 14 people rescued in one 13-hour period.

The Ogwen team had to carry out several rescues and while sometimes such incidents can be a matter of misfortune to a greater or lesser extent - the incidence of a woman who fell and broke her ankle may be a case in point - others may be avoidable.

Ordnance Survey maps are an important navigational guide at any time and without one, an inexperienced walker on their own might easily get lost. This was the fate of one woman who set out as part of a party looking to scramble up Tryfan.

A persistent sufferer from back trouble, she found her problem flaring up again. Rather than walking back down with her, the rest of the group continued on their way and left her to try to find her own way down - leaving her lost by the time she reached the Bochlwyd outflow.

One member of the Ogwen team was able to assist the lost walker and get her back down safely, but the event showed the problems that can happen if people are left to try to make their way down alone without a map.

This was true despite the fact that Tryfan lies very close to the A5, with other areas of Snowdonia's mountains being more isolated and potentially dangerous.

An example of this lies on the other side of the Ogwen Valley, where the Carneddau ridge stretches for several miles from north to south, containing the largest area of land over 3,000 ft in England and Wales.

The encroaching winter has been particularly evident in various parts of the country in the last couple of days, with the Met Office issuing severe weather warnings with plenty of snow and ice about.

While that may mean roads are treacherous, it also means being prepared for the mountains and everything cold and dark days on them can bring is even more important.