THREE men were plucked from a cliff face following a dramatic rescue operation lasting more than 12 hours.

The men, all in their 20s from Wrexham, were rescued from an 800ft cliff face on Snowdon.

They became stranded when one of the climbers, the party leader, injured himself after falling 30ft.

He suffered a dislocated shoulder in the fall and was unable to reach his fellow climbers.

But his colleagues used a mobile phone to raise the alarm with the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team at 4.45pm, which led to an all-night rescue operation.

Ten members of the rescue team had to be lowered in a succession of 250ft drops to get to the scene on a climb known as The Great Gully on Craig yr Ysfa peak.

Chris Lloyd, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team spokesman, said a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley, Anglesey was scrambled and located the climbers on the cliff.

“Ten members of the rescue team were ferried to the top of the crag by helicopter from where they were able to reach the men,” he said.

“The injured climber did very well, despite his injured shoulder, to get on ropes so we could lower him into a gully.

“It was only then that we could give him painkillers.

“He was winched aboard the helicopter and flown to Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor.”

Mr Lloyd said the injured climber was winched aboard at 1.30am while the other two men were led down the mountainside by the rescue team. The marathon rescue was finally completed when they reached base at 5.30am on Sunday morning.

“The climbers were well equipped and well organised so the incident was an unfortunate accident,” he said.

“The injured man came back to see us on Sunday afternoon after he had been released from hospital.

“He was very grateful and seemed in good spirits.”

There were 25 rescuers taking part in the operation – the second time in a fortnight they had spent a night on the mountains.