Snowdonia climber loses leg after rock fall

Witness Alexandra Bailey Hughes describes the mountain rescue of a climber, who badly injured his leg

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A rock climber has had his leg amputated after a large block of stone collapsed in Snowdonia, crashing into the main A5 road below.

The climber had been on a route at Pen yr Ole Wen in the Caerneddau range in the Ogwen Valley.

Mountain rescuers say the man-sized rock came away as the mountaineer stood on it, sending it some 500ft (150m) on to the A5 carriageway.

The climber suffered serious leg injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

The man, one of two climbers from the south of England, is currently being treated at a specialist unit in Stoke.

Location map

Members of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team said they were alerted at about 10:30 BST on Saturday.

They were joined by and RAF rescue team climbing in the area, and the group of about 18 reached the casualty, who is understood to be in his mid-40s.

"Two rock climbers had just started up a rock climb," said Chris Lloyd, from Ogwen Mountain Rescue.

"The lead climber stood on a block that came away and caused serious leg injuries.

"Two passing walkers went to assist: one helped the injured man and the other made the 999 call.

"Once the team was cleared they called for the RAF Valley helicopter."

Mr Lloyd later confirmed the climber suffered a leg amputation.

He said it was the "first time in mountain rescue" that he had come across an incident like it.

An RAF Sea King helicopter from 22 Squadron at Valley on Anglesey was then able to come under cloud cover to winch the man off the mountainside.

Pen yr Ole Wen and Ogwen Valley The two climbers had just started on a route at Pen yr Ole Wen in the Ogwen Valley

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