Wheelchair User Abandoned on Snowdon

by Jack Geldard - Editor - UKC Oct/2009
This news story has been read 10,114 times

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+Helicopter support for the rescue team, 104 kb
Helicopter support for the rescue team
© Mark Reeves, Jan 2009

+A stretcher being winched in to a SeaKing helicopter, 50 kb
A stretcher being winched in to a SeaKing helicopter
© Mark Reeves, Jan 2009
Fifteen volunteers from the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team were once again on the flanks of Snowdon this weekend. A group of six martial arts enthusiasts had attempted to push a 31-year-old man in a wheelchair up the main track to the summit of Snowdon, but found the going too tough when they reached the Allt Moses just below the Clogwyn train station, below the small track branching off to Cloggy.

“They had researched the route – apparently from the top of the Tarmac road, but not much further – and had information that said there was disabled access to the top of Snowdon – which there sort of is, from the cafe at the top!" commented Ian Henderson of the Llanberis mountain rescue team on the Grough.co.uk website.

The martial artists then decided to leave the man behind and continue to the summit. On their return they discovered they were too tired to push him back down and phoned for assistance.

To push on regardless shows a lack of respect for the hill, a total lack of respect to the dignity of the disabled person and having to summon help from the rescue team in such a situation seems just as disrespectful to them

Mark Reeves

“At Clogwyn station one of them rang 999 and asked for a helicopter to rescue the guy in the wheelchair as they would be too tired to push him back down.” commented Ian Henderson on the Grough.co.uk website.

The disabled man was taken by mountain rescuers to the Snowdon Mountain Railway and was transported back to the village of Llanberis. He was cold and beginning to be hypothermic.

Henderson said the rest of party was collected later by the Llanberis team and "debriefed in an assertive manner".

Commenting on his often wildly outspoken blog, mountain rescuer, UKC contributor and professional mountaineering instructor Mark Reeves said:

"I have no problem with trying to get a wheelchair with a disabled person to the summit, but you sure as hell need to make sound decisions and not get totally committed, as there is no way out. To push on regardless shows a lack of respect for the hill, a total lack of respect to the dignity of the disabled person and having to summon help from the rescue team in such a situation seems just as disrespectful to them."


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