Mountain rescue volunteers have had a busy start to 2022 with no less than three call outs already.
The Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, based in Abergavenny, were contacted by West Mercia Police at lunchtime on Thursday, January 6, to help with an injured walker in the Black Mountains, near Black Hill, in snowy conditions.
The well prepared and experienced walker they found had slipped and felt his knee ‘pop’, making onward travel very difficult and painful.
A LMRT spokesperson said: “We had a good rough idea where the casualty was on the hill, so we sent two parties up the Olchon Valley gulley path and a third up Black Hill via the Cats Back Ridge.
“Once with the casualty, medical aid was given but the most important priority was keeping the gentleman and the rest of the team warm as the snow was falling heavily and the wind was picking up.
“A stretcher carry off was decided as the best way to evacuate off the mountain, and back down the Olchon Valley path was deemed the safest option as the Cats Back Ridge was getting very icy by this stage.
“Once down at the road, the casualty was transferred to our colleagues in West Midlands Ambulance Service for onward travel to hospital, with the team being stood down just before 9pm.”
Rescuers were in action again on Sunday, January 9, dealing with two call outs.
The first from Gwent Police saw them speed to an incident on the Sugarloaf, where a regular and experienced woman mountain walker had slipped on the descent from the summit and injured her lower leg.
The team spokesperson said the day afterwards: “By chance, a member of the team was on the hill enjoying an early run so was able to get to the casualty quickly and start providing shelter.
“This was crucial as yesterday was an exceptionally windy and cold day, and hypothermia can develop into a very serious risk in these circumstances.
“We rapidly had more team members on the hill, providing warmth, treatment and pain relief to the casualty before we stretchered the injured lady off the hill.”
No sooner had they arrived back at the main Sugarloaf car park, but they were contacted by South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team, asking for assistance with a call out they were dealing with in the Cwm Clydach Gorge between Abergavenny and Brynmawr.
A caver had injured his hip in the entrance to the cave they were visiting and needed help to be stretchered out safely.
The team spokesperson explained: “The cave entrance is accessed via a steep path with a severe drop off, so using a simple but effective rope system we were able to protect all those involved, but also get the injured gentleman via stretcher up to the road to meet the waiting Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust vehicle.
“This call out was a great example of inter-agency working between Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, the Ambulance Service and also South Wales Fire And Rescue. We wish both casualties a full and speedy recovery.”
LMRT are a voluntary organisation.People can support the team and the work they do by donating through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/longtownmrt
LMRT are a voluntary organisation which respond to requests from the police for assistance in the Black Mountains and into Herefordshire for injured and missing people.
Rescuers are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and rely entirely on donations from members of the public to carry out their essential life-saving rescue service.