Walkers on Snowdonia have been criticised for not having enough trekking gear and equipment after being rescued over the Bank Holiday period. Mountain Rescue teams and a RAF rescue helicopter were both involved in the successful operation.

A seven year old was with a group of from Manchester which has separated into two on Cader Idris and each group assumed the boy in question was with the other. The boy became trapped on a grass ledge on the steep Cyfrwy crag face and had to be airlifted. The local Search and Rescue Team from Aberdyfi confirmed that the group were lightly equipped and had made no provision for a long stay on the mountain or for the onset of darkness that was falling.

The first team of rescuers to reach the scene found a scent of ill-organised groups spread across the mountainside. However, once the child had been located the rescue team were able to supply a grid-reference to a Sea King helicopter which was in flight to the scene from RAF Valley. Due to the nature of the location the rescue was tricky for the RAF as the helicopter’s rotors were close to the steep rock face, but thanks to some skilful flying and assisted by the still conditions the winch-man was able to secure the child and both were hoisted back on board the helicopter. This did mean that the second Rescue Team who had started up the hill carrying heavy crag-rescue equipment was not actually needed.

The boy was shaken but thankfully uninjured and was flown back to the Ty Nant car park at the foot of the mountain. Meanwhile, a 70 year old diabetic man with the same group was taken ill and was found to be carrying no food or water to manage his condition and a third person had injured a knee during the search. So the pilot had to return for him and a third man who had fallen and injured his knee.

This wasn’t quite the end of this Bank Holiday operation for the RAF, because as they were making their descent they had to go back to the summit to rescue a paraglider who had been forced to land. Luckily he was taken off unharmed as well.

It just goes to show that when you go out walking, you have to be prepared and should also have the correct trekking gear for what you are undertaking. Do not underestimate nature, so before you set off on your next trip check out the website and pick up some bargains so that you have all the right kit.