I didnt enquire any further as i know the strict rescue protocols that forbid releasing information of a mountain fatality,and i allso knew that none of the team would ever contradict this rule.
The climber had been staying alone at a nearby campsite,he was well equipped,expierienced,and had enjoyed several good climbing days already in the area.And he was last seen heading up to Heather Terrace on Mt,Tryfan alone! He had left no route-plan,neither had he informed anybody at home or in Ogwen Valley of his intentions,or when he would be back.It was getting late in the year and the weather was becoming increasingly cold and wet.
The site owner allerted police after not seeing the guy for three days, and OVRMO went straight into full alert and search mode with all team members.He was found dead about three days later.He had fallen several hundred feet and came to a stop in waist high Gorse folliage,his injuries were severe but he had been conscious enough to empty his pockets and sack, and place his gear within reach around where he lay.
Unable to stand and make himself visible he was only 20metres from a well used track,and may even have heard the many walkers and climbers passing on their way down the hill that week,and perhaps he even tried to call to them.
Nobody knows if he was conscious for long enough to attempt to signal for help.But there was not much he could have done in that concealed position,in the cold,rain,and poor light,and where calls and shouts were commonplace.The irony was that the red-smoke popped by OVMRO to mark his body,may have helped him to save his own life.
Two years prior to this sad accident ,i was doing a Mountain Leader course at the National Mountain Centre not far from Ogwen valley.I love PYB for the good food,great courses,accomodation,and high level of instruction,and could be lured back from the "dark-side"of soloing more often if i could afford it!We were doing the personal kit demonstration,and i pulled out my home-made "thermite"smoke signal kit,which was met with a mixture of interest and horror.Its about the size of a matchbox,and i carry it in place of "Emergency Smoke sticks" for daylight emergencies.It allso doubles as a secondary fire-source for cooking and warmth.You can do the same thing with a single"Hexamine"block and a cheap gas lighter.