Saturday dawned bright with a deep blue sky more typical of a summer day. Jon and I’d arranged to have another attempt at getting him up to the highest point in the Beacons – twice we’d been up on to the Neuadd Ridge already, but we’d not been able to make it.

So we parked up at the Neuadd pump house and headed up the direct path straight up the ridge just as we’d done before. The sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze on the way up – 4 degrees according to the met office. Once we reached the ridge however we felt the wind – about 20-25mph, which give a temperature after windchill of about -1 degree – all of this I knew, but with the sunshine it felt wonderfully warm. Jon and I headed along the ridge before we met a young lad called Adam. He’d driven down from Norfolk the night before to do some walking in the Beacons as training for his Mountain Leader award.

Adam, Jon and I walked along the ridge chatting when we spotted a Sea King coming in to play. Crowds gathered on the ridge as they hovered close to the cliff before flying off to find another few places to practice their flying. We carried on along the ridge – time was getting on a bit, and I was on duty with the ambulance service at 1700, so Jon and I took the quick route around the first peak – Corn Du – whilst Adam left us to bag the peak. As we reached the saddle between Corn Du and Pen Y Fan I looked up the path ahead of us an saw two army lads stood around a figure on the ground.


Jon and I picked up the pace a little and I stopped in front of the lady on the ground, bringing my rucksack down. “Hello, I’m Aled and I’m with the Mountain Rescue team. Do you need any help?”

The lady had gone down hard on her ankle whilst going to have a look at the helicopter and couldn’t put any pressure on it. There was good bloody supply to the ankle so I made sure she was comfortable and called Huw who was fund-raising in Cardiff. We settled down and chatted whilst waiting for the team to arrive. By this time Adam had caught up and stopped to help – as did a Royal Marine who was up in the Beacons with the Army on a training exercise. Jon and I quickly felt the wind in that bare spot between the two peaks and so the decision was made to ask the Sea King to come back to the Beacons. Soon enough, Mark and Rhyan arrived with some Entonox and splints – just about the same time as Rescue169 found us.

With the Marine guarding the path downhill, Jon uphill and the rest of us hanging on to equipment, 169 came in and the winchman dropped down whilst the helicopter stood station a little distance away. The winchman took some details and checked our casualty over before prepping her for the winch up. It only took a minute before she was in the helicopter and heading off to Prince Charles Hospital.

We picked up the kit and headed down to Pont Ar Daf with the casualty’s partner to get his car – until we got a radio message asking for assistance to help an 11 year-old girl who had twisted her ankle on the path on the way down.

Our day didn’t end there as we walked down with the chap whose partner was now nice and warm in Prince Charles. Once we reached the bottom, we went searching for a cup of tea – and quite surreally got given a cup of Earl Grey in a polystyrene cup – it was wet, warm and sweet so I wasn’t complaining. I got a lift back to the car, but my helmet is still up at base, having been placed on the head of the lady with the ankle when she was being winched. Lucky I’ve got a spare in the house really.

Oh, and Jon still hasn’t been to the top of Pen Y Fan.

2 Responses to “Brecon Beacons 3, Jon 0”

  1. Mark says:

    “Mark and Rhyan arrived with some Entonox and splints”
    Come on you could have said I did this in 28 mins and was still able to hold a conversation……

  2. Aled says:

    I thought you said 31 minutes? *grin*

    But, yes, OK, Mark and Rhyan managed to get from Pont Ar Daf to the casualty site on the side of Pen Y Fan in a blindingly fast time (either 29 or 31 minutes – either way, that’s damn fast).

    Of course, I fully expect Mark was dying from asthma late Saturday night… *grin*