North West Wales

Snowdon fall captured on camera: Rescuer tells of fears

Media captionClimber Mark Roberts captured his 100ft fall down Snowdon on his head camera

A climber whose mountain fall was recorded on his head camera was so dramatic that one rescuer says he feared the plunge would kill him.

Thousands of viewers have seen footage of Mark Roberts' lucky escape after he tumbled down the gully.

Now a fellow climber who witnessed the fall has told how he thought Mr Roberts might be dead as he went to his aid.

Graham Davies said his best bit of rescue kit was a 99p whistle, which was essential with no mobile phone signal.

It happened when Mr Roberts was climbing with two companions near Crib Goch in February.

Graham Davies - who coincidentally spoke to the BBC about mountain safety in 2009 - was nearby climbing with a friend.

"We were intending to climb the main route, but then this guy came off," he said.

"We were right at the bottom. We'd just finished ice-axe training when this man came sliding down above us.

"He was bouncing all over the place and it seemed to go on forever.

Image caption Experienced climber Graham Davies pictured on the Carneddau mountains in Snowdonia

"I know it's been estimated that he fell about 100ft (30m), but it I think it was nearer 300ft (90m)."

Mr Roberts stopped on an ice step above Mr Davies and his companion.

"We thought he'd be dead but when we got there about 10 minutes later he was conscious although a bit dazed and shocked. He said he had pain in his legs.

Helicopter evacuation

"We realised straight away that a helicopter evacuation was needed but there was no mobile signal so I got my 99p whistle out and gave six burst of that."

Members of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team who were also on the mountain became involved, and a helicopter crew from RAF Valley on Anglesey was called in.

After the accident Mr Roberts spoke of his experiences to the British Mountaineering Council.

He said: "Once both axes were gone, it was arms, hands, legs and feet in the less consolidated snow on the slope to try and slow my speed.

"Fortunately I slid into a rocky outcrop on my left with a bit of a thump, which took some of the momentum out of my descent resulting in a bit of a spin, but I could still look for opportunities below for a point to stop.

"It finished with a drop on to a bit of a ledge or hole where my pack and crampons took enough hold to stop me.

"I was a little dazed and knew there was some damage to my ankles which were fairly painful if they were moved."

Because time was getting on, the helicopter returned to airlift Mr Roberts' companions and rescuers from the mountain after he was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

"I'd used my first aid in the office, but that had amounted to calling 999, but this was a guy we'd just seen fall off a mountain in temperatures of -7," said Mr Davies.

"We were slightly traumatised ourselves as we'd seen it happen.

"The first aid training just fell into place though, and the lift down in the helicopter was amazing."

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