Date of Incident

24/01/2015

Country

Wales

Area

Route

Incident

Having made a successful traverse of Crib Goch (from Pen y Pass) in winter conditions I made the decision to return via the same route.

I was traversing the ridge line above Crib y Ddysgl when, distracted, I caught one of my crampons on my trousers, slipped and tumbled 40 metres down the ice, snow and boulder covered slope.

I suffered an impact injury to my lower right calf - a 9cm wide and 4cm deep hole, a chipped elbow bone and bruising to my legs, feet and arms.

Fortunately, with the assistance of two (unknown) climbers who came to my aid, I was able to climb back up to the ridge and off the mountain from where I drove to Bangor hospital for surgery. I was discharged 48 hours later, battered, bruised and on crutches - but suffering no long term damage.

Lessons

Although fully equipped for the conditions, I made an error of judgement in choosing to return along the route I had successfully taken.

My plan had always been to travel onwards to Snowden and then return via the Pyg Track.

However, elated at my first winter traverse of Crib Goch, I decided to retrace my route - even though I knew this was risky as I was tired and it was late in the day.

The accident occurred because I was tired and I should not have taken the unnecessary risk - a momentary lapse of concentration resulted in an accident that could have proved fatal or life changing.

Wearing a helmet and a rucksack saved me from further injury. The helmet was scratched and gouged from glancing blows from rocks and the rucksack absorbed the shock of my impact.

It is fair to say that luck was the only reason I was able to walk away that day.

Activity

Winter walking

When

Ascending

Injury

Serious injury requiring medical treatment

Causes

Slip, trip or fall

Anonymous?

No

Reported By

Participant

Wearing Helmets?

Rescue Services Involved?