When a carefully planned hike turned into a near death experience for a family hiking in Snowdonia, thankfully our team literally ‘popped up’ at the perfect time to lead the family to safety. Well done Tom, Jack and Simon for putting your training to good use that day back in 2017. Here the father talks about their harrowing experience and their gratitude to the wonderful A+ team. Praise God for the putting them in the right place at the right time…
“We followed the conventional route up until we were faced by a particularly steep very daunting step of rock known as the Tower. We made the mistake of following some groups who were taking what appeared to be an easier route circumnavigating the Tower. It turns out that this route took us along the “Eastern Travers”, which was fine to start with but gets harder and more challenging.
“As we pressed on it became clear that the ground we were covering was starting to push the boundaries of our capabilities and taking us way out of our comfort zone. The earlier rain had to start with been a bit of an annoyance, and although it had not lasted long, it had wetted the rock making it slippery and quite treacherous in places.
“We discussed turning back and retracing our route up, but agreed that some of the obstacles that we had climbed would have been most deadly to get wrong on the way down, and so the only option we really had was to continue upwards. At this point I was really, really, regretting getting my family into this, quite frankly, very dangerous position. What was meant to have been an enjoyable day of challenging activity, had steadily become a thing that nightmares are made of, with the very real risk of serious injury or even death.
“We reached a point where our progress was blocked by a shear vertical rock of 10 to 15 feet high. It had no hand or foot holds that we could have used and behind us was a deadly drop so any mistakes could have ended in a very bad way.
“It was while we were looking up in a rather forlorn and desperate way Jack’s head popped up from a bit above and behind the impassable slab of rock ahead of us. Simon and Tom also then appeared and we explained that we could not find a way to go further up, that going backwards really was not an option and that we were essentially stuck and in need of help.
“Without hesitation they sprang into action and surveyed the possible routes from above. Simon and Jack made their way down to where we were and guided us around the side of the impassable slab and up a sloping rock which we would not have had the confidence to climb if they had not been there. They positioned themselves in such a way to give us confidence that we would be safe and to catch us should we have slipped.
“Tom was there, a little higher up helping us identify hand and foot holds and helping us to the top. It turned out that we were not too far from the top of the mountain at all, but the reality was we would never have made it without the assistance of Jack, Simon and Tom (listed in alphabetical order as they were all equality part of our rescue).
“My relief that my family was now safe was extreme to say the least, and I was tremendously grateful that Jack, Simon and Tom had been there and helped us in such a selfless way, putting themselves at risk in order to get us to a place of safety.”
The things our team get up to in their time off is quite impressive!