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Fatalities on NW-001 and NW-006

Tragically, a couple of fatalities within the space of three days recently, one on Tryfan, and one on Snowdon.

I was always frightened of Tryfan, and when I finally activated it last year, it was indeed rather scary, even through I took the safest and easiest approach. It was very easy to see though how one wrong move could have terrible consequences.

The Snowdon incident is more of a puzzle though. The news report is very light on detail, so there will be much more to it one suspects, but I can’t think of any part of the Pyg Track route that is exposed to such danger. I’m wondering if, in fact, the accident was elsewhere, like Crib Goch, and the body came to rest in the vicinity of the Pyg Track.

Jimmy and I head back to Snowdonia for some more uniques at the end of the month. Stay safe out there everyone.

That seems to me to be the most likely explanation, perhaps somebody trying to get off Crib Goch instead of continuing to the end, most of the loose rock has been removed from the ridge but the flanks are perilous - there is even loose rock still on the rock climbs on the Cwm Glas side!

There’s an incident report on the Llanberis MRT Facebook page (incident 131). According to that it was a 70m fall from the Pyg track down to the Miners’ track, and the casualty was lowered down to Llyn Glaslyn.

Martyn

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These sad accidents brings about the topic of hiking in exposed terrain. You will have no problems 1000 times, and the 1001st time you’ll roll your ankle on a small rock and fall-off a cliff. It does not matter how accomplished of a hiker/climber you are, accidents happen. The solutions: turn around on exposed terrain or use protection. Most likely people will laugh at you for using protection on what is technically not difficult terrain even if it is very exposed.

It is also a no-win situation trying to argue this way, especially with experienced hikers who feel their skills will always prevent them from having any mishaps. If nothing happens to them, they will deride you and think you are a wuss, if you are right they may fall-off a cliff and maim themselves or die. What is the point of being right if somebody gets killed or maimed? I’d rather be wrong and be derided. So, until the end of time, people will continue falling off in exposed terrain with severe consequences.

In the Hautes-Alpes area of the french alps, there are more fatalities from casual hikes on exposed terrain than from car accidents (last I saw the stats, it may vary from year to year and new sports such as paragliding and MTB may have changed the numbers) or rock climbing or mountaineering.

73,
Arnaud