Dramatic moment fallen climber is rescued by Coastguard helicopter after avalanche

Watch the dramatic moment Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter swoops in to rescue a climber with a fractured leg who was caught in an avalanche on Snowdon.

Just after 4.30pm yesterday (29 January) North Wales Police requested HM Coastguard assistance with the rescue after receiving reports that a group of three climbers had been caught in the avalanche resulting in one of them falling 75ft and sustaining a suspected broken ankle.  

With the assistance of RAF Mountain Rescue Valley and Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, the Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter was able to safely recover the injured climber off the mountain.

Speaking after the rescue, HM Coastguard Winch Operator Rich Taylor said:  "In support of the Llanberis and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams we recovered a casualty from the Pyg Track in the Snowdon bowl. On arrival the Mountain Rescue Teams had assessed and immobilised the casualty and packaged him in a stretcher which they then carried to a suitable winching area.  However, due to snow showers and fading light, we had to hold off for a short while until a break in the weather. We managed to recover the casualty in testing conditions due to recirculating snow, resulting in a high winch. We want to extend our thanks to the Mountain Rescue Teams who did an incredible job in very poor weather conditions."

Once on board the helicopter, the casualty was taken to Bangor Hospital. The two remaining climbers were uninjured and were walked off the mountain by Mountain Rescue Teams. 

After the incident Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team offered this excellent safety advice...
Snowdon in winter is a very different proposition and you should always carry additional warm clothing together with crampons and ice axe which are essential items if the routes to the summit are covered in ice or snow. Batteries don't like the cold so you should consider carrying spares and not rely too heavily on electronic mapping or phone as your only method of navigation. Low-tech is good so carry a compass and paper map and have the knowledge of how to use them. Please check the up-to-date mountain weather forecast and conditions. Current conditions reports can be found by following "Eryri Warden Report" on Twitter or checking the mountain weather forecasts provided by the Met Office and BBC Wales News

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