Mobile picture pinpoints stranded climbing duo

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A COUPLE who got stuck on a 3,000ft peak were unable to describe exactly where they were – so they sent a picture to a rescue team from their mobile phone.

The climbers, in their mid-30s from Chester, raised the alarm to members of Ogwen mountain rescue team in Snowdonia after they became stuck on Tryfan mountain.

After attempting to scramble up the north tower of the mountain, the couple moved to the path on the east side of the rock, the notorious Eastern Traverse.

The couple, who do not wish to be identified, were then faced with two dangerous 30ft drops and nowhere to turn.

Team spokesman Chris Lloyd said: “Arriving at the top of the first step, the couple tried to skirt their way round but ended up on the cliff face.

“They wisely telephoned for assistance and followed the instructions to stay put. However, in order for the volunteers of the Mountain Rescue Team to save them, we had to find out where they were.”

The couple used their mobile telephone to send a multi-media message to the Ogwen mountain rescue team in a call for help.

Mr Lloyd said it was a “big piece in the jigsaw” to find them.

Mr Lloyd, part of a voluntary team of 50, said: “Sending us a picture seems to be a very sensible and useful idea to give us an indication of their position.

“There are a couple of big vertical drops near where they were stuck. The photograph enabled us to recognise where they were.”

The couple were later told they had a lucky escape, as four years ago, almost to the day, a couple with their dog made the same error but continued further on and a young man fell to his death.

Mr Lloyd, 56, said: “Five team members were dispatched up the mountain side with ropes to rescue the stranded couple.

“Two team members donned helmets, harnesses and ropes to climb up to them. Each ‘casualty’ was then lowered to the gully floor and walked to safety.

“They then walked down the mountain with the five team members to the MRT Base for a cup of tea and a discussion about their misadventure.”

Mr Lloyd, who has been a mountain rescue volunteer since 1977, added: “We hope the couple will have learned from this incident and return to complete the ascent of this notorious mountain.”

See full story in the Leader

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