Rescue on Carrauntoohil amid snowfall and freezing weather conditions on Kerry’s highest peak

Volunteers with Kerry Mountain Rescue braved extremely cold temperatures and heavy snowfall to rescue a group of six climbers on Carrauntoohill last night March 8.

he operation began at around 4.30pm on Wednesday evening with the group ultimately brought to safety around 1am this morning. 

Volunteers had to face cold and icy winds along with heavy snowfall and traverse slippy grounds to reach the group of climbers.

The walkers had been up Carrauntoohil that day and and were descending a long ridge known as ‘The Bone’ in the vicinity of The Hag’s Glen,  when they veered slightly off the ridge. One of the groups, a female walker, slipped and got stuck and the rescue team were called into action as darkness fell. 

The Kerry Mountain Rescue volunteer team set off using the grid reference for the group of walkers but when they reached the group they were unable to climb up to reach them and instead had to go around and climb up to reach them from above. 

Volunteers then set up a rope system and abseiled down to reach the group in the gully and roped them to safety. 

The rescue operated was a slow given the access difficulties and weather. 

Assistant PRO Alan Wallace said “conditions were challenging”. 

“The snow was heavy up there and it was snowing during the rescue which then turned to rain. It was slippy as well,” he said. 

“We roped them up and they were safe ..  Fortunately the rescue was successful and nobody was injured.” 

No-body was injured and the group then walked down the mountain. 

Last year Kerry Mountain Rescue had 57 call-outs leading to 3100 hours on hills in Kerry but to date this year has been relatively quiet. 

The Kerry charity is one of the beneficiaries of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle this year to help raise funds which is used to replace equipment and this week’s rescue which required ropes and climbing kit shows just how vital funds are for such equipment. 

Kerry Mountain Rescue have also reminded all walkers that winter conditions on the mountains are very different and anyone thinking of climbing in such conditions must be prepared and be experienced. 


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