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‘Drunk’ man collapses on Welsh mountain as friend found injured down gully

Rescuer Graham O’Hanlon said the group were ill-prepared and their choices ‘nearly cost at least one man his life’.

25 July 2022

Two “drunk” men had to be rescued off one of Wales’ most popular mountains after one collapsed and another fell down a gully, rescuers said.

The alarm was raised on Sunday at around 3pm after reports a man in his 20s was “intoxicated and unconscious” on Cader Idris in Snowdonia National Park, North Wales.

The man, who was one of a party of eight, had been left on the mountain while the rest of the group went to raise the alarm, Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team said.

After speaking with the group, who were described as “potentially intoxicated”, it was revealed another one of their friends was missing on the mountain.

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One of the men was spotted down a gully having fallen after becoming separated from the rest of the party (Aberdyfi Search and Rescue)

“Through further conversations with the party, team volunteers were able to obtain a rough description of the man’s location, different from the original information but coinciding with reports of shouting heard by other walkers coming off the mountain,” Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team said in a statement.

“Crucially, it also transpired that another member of the party was also missing on the mountain.

“In unseasonably poor weather, volunteers were dispatched up the hill to begin searching the area in question, and key equipment was carried up the mountain as it arrived.

“The initial search parties quickly encountered the man reported as being unconscious, but now back on his feet, and he was escorted down off the mountain while the search for his companion continued.”

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The man discovered down the gully had suffered ‘significant injuries’ (Aberdyfi Search and Rescue)

The other man’s location was unknown as he had become separated from his friends, and volunteers searched for hours before eventually spotting him down a gully, on account of his light-coloured clothing.

“One of the search parties reported a distant light-coloured object in a gully to the south of the initial search area, and spotters working from the foot of the mountain confirmed that it appeared to be a person,” the statement said.

“The (search) party made their way across difficult terrain to reach the man, who was alive but had sustained significant injuries in what looked like a tumbling fall,” it added.

The man was airlifted by the Coastguard to Ysbyty Gwynedd, where he has been treated.

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One man was found and led off the mountain while the other suffered significant injuries after falling (Aberdyfi Search and Rescue)

It took almost six hours and 17 volunteers for the search team to get both men to safety, with the operation coming to an end at around 8.45pm.

Graham O’Hanlon, who attended the incident, said: “The men were not equipped for the poor weather on the mountain, or for finding their way around it, and they made some poor choices that nearly cost at least one man his life.

“But for the light colour of the man’s tracksuit, we may not have spotted him in time.”

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