We left Adam yesterday unconscious at the foot of the mountain from which he’d fallen. He had clearly suffered broken bones and possibly worse. His left leg and arms were bent at impossible angles.
His colleagues, who had seen him fall, did everything they could to summon help, using their phones and a whistle, as they descended to try to find him. They waited with him once they’d located him – not daring to touch him in case they made his injuries worse.
Eventually they saw the approaching torches of the mountain rescue team in the distance, and heard their dog, but the falling cloud base was reducing visibility so they used a torch to signal to them. As the team approached on foot, the searchlight of a rescue helicopter also sought them.
A doctor in the team confirmed that Adam was alive but was not able to say more beyond agreeing that some of his bones were broken. With help from other team members, the medic strapped Adam into a stretcher. The coastguard helicopter was unable to help, but an RAF mountain rescue helicopter took over, winched him up on the stretcher and took him to a hospital in Bangor where he was put into a coma to protect his brain as it healed.
The rescue teams had recorded and passed on the partial information about his next of kin that was known by his colleagues, and it was now the police in Cheshire who took on the task of finding his family and informing them. It was much later that evening when his shocked parents and brother were traced and told. It was later still when they remembered that Poppy would be unaware. They agreed that, despite the break-up, she ought to know, but they didn’t know how to contact her.
Fortunately, Neil, Adam’s brother, came up with a plan, but he couldn’t put it into action until after the weekend and – you’ll remember this would be after Poppy’s birthday. More tomorrow.
The photograph featured today is an RAF Mountain Rescue Helicopter – obviously not the one in the story – that one is fictional. When I took this photo, however, I suspect that the crew thought that I might need rescuing – and they hovered for quite a while over me. Being honest I wasn’t sure myself whether I might need rescuing. I was climbing up the East face of Moel Siabod in Snowdonia in 2013, and the faint path that I’d been following. had disappeared. The scree was getting more and more treacherous – one foot upwards and two feet backwards. I could see the summit – perhaps 50 metres above me, but I had grave doubts whether I could reach it safely. The way down looked just as dangerous and it was unclear whether I’d be able to get safely across sideways to the North Ridge. In the end, I chickened out and made my way down the scree on my backside to a safe position.
I took the shot with a Lumix DMC-FX50 compact camera – EXIF data f/4.1, 10.3 mm 1/640 secs and ISO 100.