200 And Counting
Being busy is relative. For an office worker it might be having to get through a mountain of papers or emails; a teacher might be faced with having to mark the homework of a whole class; or a hairdresser may have a shop full of people looking for a cut and blow dry. For a mountain rescue team being busy is having to save lives. But just how busy does a mountain rescue team get? The Llanberis team in Snowdonia, which is the busiest in the UK, clocked up its 200th call-out of the year courtesy of Storm Brian. The storm literally blew a walker off her feet half way up the 3,560ft Mount Snowdon. With an injured ankle and finger the woman was unable to get back down so 16 members of the team were called out to assist. It took them four hours to reach the stricken woman and it most likely took more than four hours to safely bring her back as they carefully carried her down Llanberis Path, which the volunteers described as “running like a river”. John Grisdale, vice chairman of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, said: “It was extremely difficult and extremely wet. She was just over half way up the mountain and had been blown off her feet. The storm was at its worst. We had to carry her down on a stretcher and it was very challenging – the rain was horizontal. It was quite a task.” A task they passed with flying colours and once back down safely an ambulance crew was on hand to whisk the fallen walker to hospital at Ysbyty Bangor where she was treated for a suspected broken ankle. And it turns out 200 rescues in a year is no one-off. This is the third successive year that Llanberis has had to deal with more than 200 call-outs. As Mr Grisdale adds: “people should be prepared before they go up Snowdon and part of that is checking the weather forecast.” Perhaps then the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team can take a well-earned break.